Birth Control Shot – Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on

An unwanted pregnancy can be traumatic. Fortunately, there are options to prevent accidental pregnancies and save you from making difficult choices.

Birth control pills, the ring, IUD – the options are numerous. But the ultimate aim of all birth control options is to give you some peace of mind. The birth control shot, also known as Depo Provera, is one of the most effective methods of birth control for women. But many still shy away from this effective option. There is a lot of misinformation surrounding the shot. So, let’s bust some myths about the birth control shot!

How Effective Is The Birth Control Shot?

Like all other hormonal methods of birth control, the birth control shot releases progestin, a hormone, into your body. Progestin prevents your ovaries from releasing eggs, which in turn brings down your chances of getting pregnant. Additionally, this hormone also makes the cervical mucus thicker and prevents the sperm from meeting the egg.

Birth control fails. The number of ‘oops’ pregnancies is proof of that. That is why most women want to make sure that their chosen form of birth control is effective. The birth control shot ensures 99% effectiveness. You’ll need to take the birth control shot once every 12 weeks for it to work efficiently. The shot starts working immediately if you take it within seven days of starting your periods. If you miss the 12-week mark by a week or two, your doctor might ask you to take a pregnancy test before she administers the next shot.

The Birth Control Shot Vs Other Forms Of Birth Control:

Here’s a chart to help you determine birth control shot effectiveness when compared with other popular forms of birth control:

The Birth Control ShotThe RingThe Pill
Ease Of UseModerateModerateEasy
Side EffectsModerateModerateModerate
Effect On Sex LifeLowLowLow
Protection From STIsNoneNoneNone
Cost$0-$120 for 12 weeks$0-$75 a month$0-$90 a month


As you can see, there’s not much that differentiates the birth control shot from other popular forms of birth control. So, why should you opt for it?

Benefits Of The Birth Control Shot:

If you are considering getting the ‘shot’ but are still hesitant, check out the benefits it offers.

1. Convenient:

Getting the shot is easy. All you need to do is make a trip to your doctor’s office once every 12 weeks. The doctor will give you the shot, and you’ll be good to go!

2. Long Lasting:

Unlike the ring that works for a month, the birth control shot is effective for almost three months. If you are forgetful, the pills won’t be a good idea either. The shot will be your best bet, when it comes to hormonal birth control.

3. Brings The Spark Back:

Some forms of birth control can make your sex life seem pre-planned and boring. Did you forget to take the pill? Is the condom handy? These questions can play spoilsport when you are in the mood. The shot takes away these worries and spices up your sex life.

4. Provides Privacy:

If you have family living with you, the last thing you need are telltale signs of birth control. The shot provides you with complete privacy. The world doesn’t need to know about your birth control choices!

5. No Estrogen:

Hormonal birth control options like the ring and the pill contain estrogen. This makes them unsuitable for some women. The birth control shot contains progestin and no estrogen, making it perfect for such women. If you are a breastfeeding mom, the shot will be your best friend!

6. Prevents Cancer:

There are studies that suggest that the shot can prevent cancer of the linen of the uterus.

The benefits are impressive but everything has pros and cons. Unfortunately, the shot too has a few side effects.

Side Effects Of Birth Control Shot:

The perfect birth control option is still a dream. A few women have reported some side effects while on the shot. Most of these side effects are common and go away with regular use.

Some of the common side effects you may encounter are:

1. Erratic Periods:

A few women report lighter and fewer periods, while others report heavy bleeding during periods. For some women, periods may stop altogether after a year on the shot.

2. Spotting:

Many women report spotting between periods. This is one side effect most hormonal birth control options have in common.

3. Others:

Some women on the birth control shot also report experiencing some rarer side effects. Here are a few of them:

  • Change in sex drive
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Hair loss
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Sore breasts

Once you go off the shot, most of these side effects will go away on their own. It is important to remember that most women tolerate the shot without any adverse effects. Only a small percentage of women show a negative reaction to this popular form of birth control.

Before you go ahead with the birth control shot, remember that it does not protect you from Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs). For that, you’ll need to use a condom. In fact, it is a good idea to use latex protection apart from hormonal birth control, always. After all, you can never be too careful!

Which is your preferred form of birth control? Why did you choose it over others? Tell us in the comments section below.

Reference : 1

Recommended Articles:

Was this article helpful?
Latest Articles