Providing 2-3 months of contraceptive protection.

A short-acting family planning method

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

Injectables are an 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.

If you're starting to use contraception for the first time, or thinking about using a new method, it's a good idea to have a full consultation.

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How an injectable works

The injection is usually administered in the arm, thigh or buttock by a trained provider.

It only takes a few minutes to have the injection.  It can take up to 7 days before the injection starts to work if you have not previously used a contraceptive injectable. You can use a condom for those 7 days.

Depending on the type of injectable given, another injection will be required in 2-3 months times to continue being an effective contraceptive method.

Frequently asked questions about the injectable

How good is the injectable at preventing pregnancy?

  • The injection works well at preventing pregnancy. However, its ability to stop a pregnancy largely depends on a person using it properly.
  • With typical use about 3 people out of 100 will become pregnant
  • If you think you will not be able to remember to have the injection once every 3 months, this may not be the right method for you

What are the advantages of the injectable?

Injectables offer numerous advantages as a short-acting, reversible method of contraception.

  • The procedure is very quick and painless
  • Provides 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.

What are the things to consider with the injectable?

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 STI/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.

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