The birth control shot, also called Depo-provera or the Depo shot, is a form of hormone-based contraception that has been safely used for nearly 30 years. The shot is administered four times a year and forms a “depot” under your skin from which the hormone progestin is slowly released over the next three months. The shot contains an active hormone called medroxyprogesterone, which mimics the body’s natural hormones and avoids the growth and release of an egg.
Why The Birth Control Shot?
There are many reasons women choose the birth control shot. Many request it because they like the idea of birth control you only need to think about four times each year. Others take it because they can’t safely take estrogen, and the shot is a progestin-only form of birth control. Women over 35 who smoke and women who experience migraines with aura are two examples of people who should stick with estrogen-free contraception. The shot also lower’s your body’s hormones that are responsible for abnormal tissues, and that can help treat the symptoms of endometriosis. Another benefit some women experience is periods that get very light or even disappear.
True Stories About The Shot
Feedback from women who take the shot is usually mixed. Some women are extremely satisfied with the shot and feel that their life has completely changed because of it. But others experience side effects like irregular bleeding, weight gain, and headaches. Every birth control option comes with some possibility of side effects, and the shot is no exception. Keep in mind that different bodies respond differently to medication.
Here are a few true stories from women who have used the shot:
Alison D., Houston, Texas
“I got married in 2004, and had two back to back pregnancies which left me breathless. We were using condoms when the second pregnancy happened. I decided to try the birth control shot and haven’t had any problems since. I am glad I can now focus on my two children without the tension of any unexpected surprises.”
Alison is a young mother who had one planned and one unplanned pregnancy and found it difficult to deal with two small children at the same time. Having experienced an unplanned pregnancy, Alison knew she needed a more reliable form of birth control and found it with the shot. Content for now with their little family. Alison has no intention of getting pregnant in the near future, but she likes that if she changes her mind her fertility will return if she stops the shot.
Shahnaz S., New York City, New York
“I have always had very difficult and painful periods. Since I have been using Depo-Provera, I am period-free. The birth control shot has literally changed my life and made my days much more comfortable.”
Shahnaz is a real estate agent with a very hectic schedule. Her monthly cycle used to be something she would dread, so the fact that the birth control shot stopped her periods, in addition to preventing pregnancy, has made it a great choice for her.
Amber H., Washington D.C
“While I find the birth control shot very effective in terms of preventing pregnancy, I did experience hair loss and weight gain. I have been able to control both now but I was kind of disturbed initially.”
Amber’s experience of unpleasant side effects on the birth control shot isn’t unusual, though Amber has stuck with the shot because it’s such a convenient method of pregnancy prevention. She started taking biotin for her hair loss, which is now under control.
Overall, feedback from women regarding the shot is very positive. Most are happy that they experience lighter periods (or no periods at all) and all agree that a shot is more convenient than taking a pill every day. Some recommend using online calendars to know exactly when you need to go back for your next shot. The most commonly used brand of shot is Depo-Provera, which women can now even order online and give themselves at home.
Every woman has to choose the birth control method that suits them the best — make and informed decision, and find something you’re comfortable with that fulfills your current needs. Platforms like Nurx have made high-quality healthcare more accessible and affordable for everyone.
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