The Birth Control Shot (Depo-Provera) – How It Works, Benefits, Side Effects


The shot is an injection that you get in the
arm. It’s also called “Depo” or “Depo-Provera.” It’s a birth control method that lasts for
3 months. The shot works by preventing the ovary from
releasing an egg. If the egg isn’t released, it’s impossible for the sperm and the egg
to join together. The shot also helps by thickening the mucus in the cervix, so that the sperm
can’t get through. The shot is a good choice for patients who
want something that’s long-lasting, something that’s highly effective and safe. It’s
really convenient for some patients because you come into the office, you get the injection,
and you’re set for 3 whole months—you don’t have to think about it, you don’t
have to carry anything around, you don’t have to take a pill every day. It’s also
very private for patients for that very reason—nobody knows that you have it. Many women get the shot and don’t have any
side effects or problems at all. One of the most common side effects of the shot is irregular
bleeding. It’s not unusual for women to spot irregularly for the first 6 to 12 months
when they’re on the shot. After approximately a year, about 50 percent of the women that
get the shot actually stop having their periods altogether (which actually a lot of women
like). Because the shot is long-lasting, it can take
a while to get pregnant after having your last shot, so that’s definitely something
you’ll want to consider. If you’re worried about being able to afford
the shot, you should see if you’re eligible for a program at Planned Parenthood which
will give you low- to no-cost birth control and other reproductive health care. To see
if you’re eligible, visit ppmns.org.

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