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Contraceptive injection

What it is

An injection containing the hormone progestogen. There are two types of injectable contraceptive - Depo-Provera which lasts for 12 weeks, and Noristerat which lasts for eight weeks.

How it works

The hormone progestogen stops ovulation (release of an egg) and thickens the mucus around the cervix, which makes it difficult for sperm to get into the womb.


  • Does not interrupt sex.
  • Women do not have to remember to take a pill.
  • May protect against cancer of the womb.


  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Periods may be irregular or stop altogether.
  • Can take a year or more after stopping the injection for regular periods to return.
  • As the hormone is injected into the body, any side effects may continue for as long as the injection lasts, and sometimes longer.

How effective is it?

Injectable contraception is 99% effective. This means that 1 in every 100 women who use the injection will get pregnant each year.

What makes it less effective?

  • Some prescribed and complementary medicines.
  • Follow-up injections must be given on time.

Can anyone use this method?

The contraceptive injection is not suitable for all women. A doctor or nurse will need to know about a woman's medical history and any illnesses suffered by immediate members of her family, to find out if there are any medical reasons why it might not be suitable. If you are thinking of using Depo-Provera, it is important that you also know about all the other choices of contraception first to see if another method might be more suitable for you.

Where can you get them?

Click here for local clinics or from GPs.

For more information visit: http://www.fpa.org.uk/contraception-help/contraceptive-injections