Birth Control Methods: The Shot

By Eva

What is it?
The shot (Depo-Provera) is a contraceptive injection that keeps you from getting pregnant. Once you take the shot you are covered for three full months. There is nothing else you have to do.

How does it work?
The shot contains progestin, a hormone that prevents ovulation, or the release of eggs from the ovaries. It also works by thickening your cervical mucus, which block sperm from getting to the egg.

How do you use it?
The shot is quite easy; just remember to have regular appointments with your healthcare provider every three months to administer the shot. You can also DIY.

How much does it cost?
The cost depends on whether you have insurance or not. If you have Medicaid or insurance, the patch is free under most plans. If you don’t have insurance, the price ranges from $50-$120.

Side effects?
With all methods, there are positive and negative side effects. The negative side effects include irregular bleeding, or spotting between periods, and change in appetite or weight gain. Less common side effects include change in sex drive, depression, headache, nausea, sore breasts, and hair loss, or more hair on face or body. It is important to note that there is no way to stop the side effects after taking the shot. If you still struggle with side effects after 2-3 shots you should consider switching methods.

Is this right for you?
If you don’t want to worry about having to take a pill everyday, sticking a patch on every week or inserting a ring in your vagina every month – this may be a great option. If you can not take estrogen the shot will be a good fit for you since it contains only progestin. The shot also can be used while you’re breastfeeding.

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