Although the best timing for birth control shots is once every 12 to 14 weeks, you can safely get the birth control shot up to two weeks early, or 10 weeks after your last injection. If you are having trouble with scheduling your next shot, it’s better to have it administered a little early than to get it later than 15 weeks after your last shot.
When to Get the Birth Control Shot
The birth control shot should be administered once every 12 to 14 weeks. If you are getting your first shot, you’ll need to get it within five to seven days after the start of your period if you want immediate protection against pregnancy. Those who do not get their first birth control shot within a week after their period begins need to use a backup method of birth control, such as condoms, for one week.
If you’re switching from another type of birth control, such as the pill or the patch, you can get immediate protection by getting the birth control shot seven days before stopping your previous method.
Shot Scheduling Challenges
If you are not able to get your birth control shot on the recommended schedule, you can get it up to two weeks early. The soonest you can safely receive your next shot is 10 weeks after your last injection. Those who get the shot within this window will still have the same level of protection against pregnancy.
If you are more than two weeks late getting your shot (15 weeks or more since the last injection), it’s important to use a backup method of birth control until you’re able to get it. In addition, you will need to have a pregnancy test before the next shot is administered and use backup birth control for seven days after getting your shot late.