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The Progestogen Injection – Injectable Contraception – DepoProvera® & Noristerat®

Injectable contraception – and – self administered progestogen injection

INJECTABLE CONTRACEPTION

Part 1

  • What is injectable contraception ?
  • How does Injectable contraception work ?
  • How reliable is Injectable contraception ?
  • Who is suitable to use injectable contraception ?
  • Who is not suitable to use injectable contraception ?
  • Are there any other benefits from using injectable contraception ?
  • When or how do I use injectable contraception ?
  • When does injectable contraception start to work ?
  • Will injectable contraception control my periods ?
  • Will injectable contraception make my periods heavier or lighter ?
  • Should I stop using injectable contraception and give my body a break ?
  • For how many years can I use injectable contraception ?
  • Is injectable contraception affected by diarrhoea, vomiting or antibiotics ?
  • Of what should I be aware if my girlfriend is using injectable contraception?
  • Do recreational drugs affect the reliability of injectable contraception ?
  • Will injectable contraception make me put on weight ?
  • Will injectable contraception protect me from pregnancy AND infection ?
  • Is injectable contraception reversible ?
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What is injectable contraception ?

Injectable contraception is an extremely effective form of contraceptive.

It’s given by intramuscular injection either monthly (not yet available in the UK), eight weekly or every 12 weeks.

Some types of injection contain oestrogen and progestogen; some just progestogen.

For example, 150 mg of Depo-Provera® (DMPA – Depo-Medroxy-Progestogen-Acetate) is the most common contraceptive injection used in the UK (and many other countries around the world).

It only contains only one drug – progestogen.

Sayana Press® – is a new(ish) 104 mg version of this drug, which has recently been introduced for home medication – as a sub-cutaneous self-given injection – which a woman can learn to give herself every 12 weeks, rather than have to attend clinic every 12-13 weeks.

How does Injectable contraception work ?

The action of injectable contraception is similar to that of the combined Pill (COC).

How reliable is Injectable contraception ?

Injectable contraception is extremely reliable.

  • It can’t fall out, be forgotten (each day) and, it can’t split or come off.

Who is suitable to use injectable contraception ?

  • Injectable contraception is suitable for most women.

Who is not suitable to use injectable contraception ?

Injectable contraception is not suitable for pregnant women or women with some potentially serious medical conditions.

You should discuss suitability with a qualified medical practitioner or healthcare professional if you – or someone in your family – have or has had:

•Breast cancer.

•Unusual vaginal bleeding.

•Active liver disease (Hepatitis).

•Circulatory or cardiac (heart) problems or abnormal blood test results when checking for cholesterol or lipids (fats) in your circulation.

Are there any other benefits from using injectable contraception ?

There are several benefits from using injectable contraception:

•It gives some protection against cancer of the lining of your womb.

•It reduces your risk of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.

•It reduces your risk of developing ovarian cysts.

•It reduces the possibility of having Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).

•Women with sickle cell disease experience fewer problems than with other methods of contraception.

When or how do I use injectable contraception ?

  • Depo-Provera®, for example, is given in the first 5 days of a menstrual cycle and then repeated after 12 weeks – for as long as you need contraceptive protection.

When does injectable contraception start to work ?

The manufacturers suggest that injectable contraception starts to work as soon as you are injected, provided that it’s given in the first 2 days of your period.

•If you start it between the 3rd and 5th day, you need to use extra protection or go without sex (abstain) for 7 days to prevent pregnancy.

INJECTABLE CONTRACEPTION

Part 2

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Will injectable contraception control my periods ?

Injectable contraception won’t control your periods.

However, over half the women who use it stop having periods or have a very light bleed every few months.

Other women get irregular bleeding. If that happens to you, tell your qualified medical practitioner or healthcare professional so that you can be given additional treatment or shorten the length of time between injections.

Will injectable contraception make my periods heavier or lighter ?

Periods are generally much shorter and much lighter when using injectable contraception such as Depo-Provera.

Should I stop using injectable contraception and give my body have a break ?

It is not normally necessary to give your body a break from using injectable contraception.

However, if you’re one of those women who stop having periods whilst using it, your qualified medical practitioner or healthcare professional may ask to test your blood after 3 years – and may give you additional hormone treatment for a short while to balance your hormones.

•Long term use of injectable contraception is practised world-wide and has been available for about 50 years.

For how many years can I use injectable contraception ?

You can usually take injectable contraception for many years without worry.

Is injectable contraception affected by diarrhoea, vomiting or antibiotics ?

Injectable contraception is not affected by diarrhoea, vomiting or antibiotics.

Of what should I be aware if my girlfriend is using injectable contraception?

You have an interest and a responsibility to understand about injectable contraception and how it works to prevent your girlfriend becoming pregnant.

Her outward appearance will not change when she’s taking the injectable contraception, so you’ll have to trust her to take it properly.

If your girlfriend were to become pregnant, with or without a termination, you’d have to deal with difficult emotions. Without a termination you’d be responsible for paying maintenance for up to 25 years.

•There will also be times when you will need to use condoms for protection against pregnancy and routine protection against infection.

•The only way to protect yourself in case she hasn’t taken it properly is to use a condom routinely for safer sex.

You should read about how it works, since you also rely on it for protection against pregnancy.

Do recreational drugs affect the reliability of injectable contraception ?

As far as is known, recreational drugs do not affect the reliability of injectable contraception. BUT drugs can be bad for your long-term physical and mental health. They can also increase your risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections.

If you dehydrate you are more likely to develop thrombosis (blood clots).

Will injectable contraception make me put on weight ?

Injectable contraception shouldn’t make you put on weight.

•Some women do put on weight; some may lose weight or stay the same.

•No-one can tell how you will react before you use it.

BUT – it is the only method of hormonal contraception for which there is an accepted weight gain association, for some women. Watch your appetite and what you eat, carefully.

Will injectable contraception protect me from pregnancy AND infection ?

Injectable contraception won’t protect you from pregnancy AND infection.

•You will still need to use condoms for protection against sexually transmitted infection.

The barrier of mucus, which forms at the neck of your womb (cervix), may slow down the progress of an infection into your womb and tubes, but it won’t prevent you from catching it.

Is injectable contraception reversible ?

Yes injectable contraception is reversible – and it’s the first method of choice for many young women.

•It’s out of your system by the 14th week after injection, which is why, if you forget to turn up on time for your injection, extra protection is vital.

Some women only take a few weeks to become pregnant after they stop the injection; others take longer. This is because in nature some women are more fertile than others.

Some women experience a delay in return to fertility – but never assume that you will be one of them.

If you experience a delay in return of your periods or you are worried about anything, see your registered medical practitioner or healthcare professional.

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