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Providing 1-3 months of protection from unplanned pregnancies

An effective, short-term and reversible method of contraception

A contraceptive injectable contains a hormone that is injected into the body that stops eggs being released.

Injectables are a very effective method of contraception when used correctly.

To continue being effective, you must make sure to return for an injection every 2-3 months, otherwise you risk the chance of becoming pregnant.

The injectable is a safe, quick and easy option for women who want effective protection from unplanned pregnancy.

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How an injectable works

Injectable contraceptives are an injection into a woman’s arm, thigh or buttock to prevent unplanned pregnancy.

There are two types of injectable contraception. One can prevent pregnancy for one month, and the other for three months.

The injectable is a safe and effective method of contraceptive that is usually injected into the arm by a trained professional. It uses a hormone, like those naturally produced by a women’s body, to prevent pregnancy. After one or three months, depending on the type you use, you will need another injection to continue to be protected. It is important to get the injection on time.

It can take up to seven days before the injection starts to work. You can use a condom for those 7 days. When you stop using the injection, it usually takes between six months to a year for your normal fertility to return.

Injectable advantages

Injectables offer several advantages as a long-acting, reversible method of contraception.

  • The procedure is very quick and painless
  • Provide up to 12 weeks of very effective contraception
  • May help with heavy periods
  • These benefits come from the correct use of an injectable when administered by a trained provider
  • If using an injectable, you should also make sure to follow any product manufacturer instructions.

Things to consider

When deciding if an injectable is right for you, here are a few quick facts you should consider:

  • Some women may find they have spotting and bleeding for the first few weeks, but this usually settles down
  • Periods may stop, but this is nothing to worry about
  • Fertility may take up to a year to return after stopping
  • Will not protect from STIs or HIV
  • As it is an injection, if you have any symptoms, such as bleeding, you cannot reverse this method immediately.

Injectable aftercare advice

If you have your first injectable on day 1 to 5 of a period, it will work straight away.

At any other time, extra precautions, such as condoms or abstaining from sex will be required for 7 days.

If you've recently had an abortion, you can have an injectable following your treatment. It will be given to you during your treatment and will work straight away. It will then last a further 12 weeks before another injection is required.

You may need to use protection for 7 days after your first injectable to prevent pregnancy.

You may need to use protection for 7 days after your first injectable to prevent pregnancy.

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If you’re unsure what method is best for you, take our online contraception quiz.

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