Birth control shots

Birth control shots is one of the latest and long-lasting methods protecting against spontaneous pregnancy. It is a hormone injection. It contains female sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone) or their analogues and that is why this birth control method is one of the most effective. Birth control injections also prevent some gynecological diseases.

How do birth control shots for women work?

Hormone shots work in the following way:

  • Inhibit ovulation (release of the egg from the ovum). In the result, despite the ejaculation, the sperm has nothing to fertilize and pregnancy does not occur.
  • The mucus produced by the uterine neck becomes thicker. Consequently, birth control injections for women reduce the sperm motility preventing fertilization.

Hormone shots inhibit production of natural female hormones. The effectiveness of this contraceptive product is much higher than of oral pills. It is explained by the high concentration of progesterone in these injections. Besides, hormone injections have a long-lasting effect for twelve weeks since the day the injection has been made. The hormones accumulate in the body and they are released only at the right moment.

Details of hormone shots usage

Hormone injections are sold in drug stores only with a doctor’s written prescription. A doctor prescribes such method of contraception only after a complete medical examination and consultation with other medical specialists. Usually, this method is recommended for women who do not want to have children in the future and do not have menstrual disorders or other gynecological diseases. Birth control injections are made once in 12 weeks on the 5th day of the menstrual cycle. Intramuscular injection is given only by a doctor in the shoulder or the buttocks.

Advantages of this birth control method

One of the main advantages of hormone injections for women is that these products can be obtained only with a written doctor’s prescription.

A woman has to undergo a complete medical examination to detect disorders and start treatment. There are some other advantages:

  1. 99% effectiveness (the highest level of protection among other available birth control products);
  2. Injection is given once in 3 months. There is no need to take the medication every day at scheduled times;
  3. Lactation is not a contraindication for injections;
  4. There are no age restrictions. This is a safe product and is suitable for women of all ages;
  5. The shot reduces the risk of developing some gynecological diseases (mastopathy, breast cancer, uterine fibroids, endometriosis);
  6. The development of infertility is excluded. When a woman stops using the shots, she will be able to get pregnant (only if infertility will not be caused by some other factors);
  7. Bad habits do not reduce the effectiveness of the shots;
  8. Women can drive a car while using the shots;
  9. Price-performance ratio is fair. One ampule does not cost much and taking into account that the effect lasts for a long time, hormone injections are one of the cheapest methods of contraception.

Disadvantages of birth control shots

While being highly effective, this method of contraception has its disadvantages:

  • It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. If you have unsafe sex without a condom with an infected partner, you have 100% chance to be infected too.
  • Because ovulation is inhibited, a woman may experience menstrual disorders.
  • Birth control injections influence the female endocrine profile and can lead to lower libido, weight changes and mood swings.
  • In case some negative effects appear, it will be impossible to get rid of them soon as the product remains effective for 3 months.
  • A woman may not get pregnant for a year after stopping the use of the shots.
  • A structure of the bones may change leading to osteoporosis.

How long can birth control shots be used?

Accurate data is not available. It is all very individual for each woman. If a woman does not have any contraindications to the injections, she does not want to have children, she can have injections until menopause. However, a woman should undergo a complete medical examination twice a year to exclude contraindications for the injections. The effectiveness of hormone injections does not reduce with time.

Contraindications to using hormone shots

Despite the fact that hormone shots are well tolerated by the body, there are some conditions when it is not allowed to make the injections:

  1. Cancer of the female genital organs;
  2. Bleeding between periods;
  3. 2  months or less since a childbirth or pregnancy;
  4. Blood coagulation disorders and the use of anticoagulants;
  5. Psychological disorders.

How to get pregnant after using hormone shots?

When a woman stops using the shots, her body needs some time to restore her reproductive function. A menstrual cycle returns to the norm in 6-12 months. But there is a chance to get pregnant in this period. The matter is, when a woman stops using hormone medications, her own hormones begin their active production and it can lead to the egg release from the ovum.