When talking about birth control methods, you’ve probably heard about the ordinary ones, like pills or patches, but there are shots too. These particular types of shots, also known as Depo-Provera shots, are injectable forms of the drug depot medroxyprogesterone acetate. The essential ingredient is the hormone progestin which has a significant role in preventing unintended pregnancy. Here is the list of the essential things you need to know before taking Depo-Provera injections:
- How Does It Work?
As we mentioned earlier, the main ingredient is the hormone progestin. Its main function is to stop you from getting pregnant by preventing ovulation. Without releasing the egg from your ovaries, it’s impossible to get pregnant. Also, this shot makes your cervical mucus thicker, so it can block the sperm.
This shot lasts three months, which is about 12 to 13 weeks. After that, you’ll need to get a new one. Here is one trick for you- always schedule your appointment before your last shot is due to expire. If you don’t receive the next shot in time, there is a high chance of getting pregnant because of decreased drug level in your body. When this happens, make sure to have one backup method of birth control. Remember that this is not a permanent solution and that you can’t use it for longer than two years.
- How to Use Depo-Provera Shots?
First of all, you’ll need to consult your doctor about using this type of birth control. Then, you can schedule your appointment at a health center. You can start using Depo-Provera shots whenever you want, but be aware that if you get the first shot within the first week after the start of your period, you’ll be protected from unintended pregnancy right away. In other cases, when you get the shot any additional time in your cycle, you’ll need to use one more type of birth control for the first week after getting the shot.
After taking the first shot, make sure not to forget the following ones every 12 weeks. Write it down in the calendar or set a reminder on your phone. If you ever forget to take another shot for two or more weeks after expiring the last one, and you had sex in the previous 120 hours, your doctor may ask you to take a pregnancy test or to use emergency contraception.
- Why Is It Done?
As we already said, Depo-Provera shot is a birth control method, and it’s used for preventing pregnancy and managing medical conditions related to the menstrual cycle. It’s highly recommended to women who don’t want to take birth control every day or avoid pills with estrogen. Some of the benefits are decreasing the risk of endometrial cancer and menstrual cramps and reducing menstrual blood flow.
- Is Depo- Provera Effective?
The Depo-Provera is a highly effective birth control method. For those who use it correctly, there is only 1% of the risk. Of course, the percentage is increasing if you don’t receive the shot at the recommended times, and in that case, you should use some additional type of birth control. Some doctors can advise you to use a condom in combination with a Depo-Provera shot to be 100% sure you are safe from unintended pregnancy.
- How to Prepare Yourself?
Consult your health provider about a starting date. To ensure you’re not pregnant, your doctor will probably decide to give you a shot in the first week of the start of your period. After that, all you need to do is schedule your appointment and prepare for a slight sting, and that’s pretty much it.
If you have any other questions, try to contact your doctor or visit the women’s center Fort Lauderdale.