Prescription or OTCProgestin-onlyClass: Hormonal

Shot

No
Yes
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5.754098360655738Injection
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Our 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.

People’s experience with Shot

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Upsides

  • 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.
What’s the failure rate?
6%
of people using this method got pregnant in a year

This method is ranked 6 out of 17 birth control methods listed. The lower the number, the better.Source

More birth control methods

Downsides

  • 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.
How it works

Progestin is injected into the fatty layer right under the skin with a needle every 3 months. Progestin is a hormone that prevents ovulation and also thickens the cervical mucus so sperm cannot reach the egg.

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Side effect rates for Shot

0 reports
These are side effects of Shot (All) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.

Common concerns from people using Shot

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Weight
  • The hormones in depo made me gain a significant amount of weight and caused my natural hormones to go all out of wack. I actually became suicidal, but luckily sought help and altered my birth control type
  • Depo-Provera
    Massive weight gain- 40 lbs in 3 months that I have not been able to loose 6 years later