The shot is a hormone injection that prevents pregnancy.
Prescription or OTCProgestin-only
Our pharmacists’ bottom line
The shot, also called Depo, is an effective method of birth control that has to be done every 3 months. Your health care provider can give you the shot or you can do it yourself at home.
of people using this method got pregnant in a year
Worth it?Is it worth it?
Works well?Does it work?
Hassle?Is it a hassle?
- You only have to remember to get the shot every 3 months, otherwise you don't have to worry about birth control at all.
- Very effective when taken as scheduled.
- Decreases flow and frequency of periods for most women; half of women taking the shot will stop having periods entirely.
- Progestin-only, so good for women who can't use estrogen.
- Undetectable and won't get in the way of spontaneity.
- Safe to use while breastfeeding.
- Not great if you're afraid of needles.
- Requires an appointment every 3 months unless you do it yourself at home.
- Irregular bleeding in the first 6-12 months.
- Works immediately if taken within the first 5 days of the period cycle, otherwise you'll have to use backup birth control during the following week.
- Can typically take up to 9 months after last shot for fertility to return.
- Women may gain up to 5 pounds/2.5 kilograms in the first year.
- Does not protect against STDs.
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