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What Can I Expect During the First Year of Using the Birth Control Shot?

Depo-subQ Provera 104 (the birth control shot) is an injection that is used to prevent pregnancy. The shot contains progestin, an active hormone which helps stop a woman’s egg from being released for possible fertilization. During the first year of using Depo-subQ Provera 104, you can expect to experience the following effects.

Immediate Protection

Depo-subQ Provera 104 begins protecting against pregnancy immediately after your first injection. In order to be fully effective, the shot needs to be given within five days after the start of your menstrual period and must be re-administered every 12 to 14 weeks afterward.

With typical use, the birth control shot is 94% effective. It’s even more effective when it’s always taken on time. Remember to use condoms during sex since the shot does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Changes in Your Period

Many women who use the birth control shot experience changes in their menstrual cycle. This may include occasional spotting, lighter periods, or (less commonly) heavier periods. Some women stop having their period while on Depo-subQ Provera 104.

In many cases, the birth control shot reduces menstrual pain and cramping. The shot also lowers the body’s hormones that cause the development of abnormal tissue, which can help to treat the symptoms of endometriosis.

Possible Side Effects

As with any new medication, there is a possibility that you may experience some minor side effectsduring your first year taking the birth control shot, including:

  • Pain or bruising at the site of injection.
  • Breast tenderness.
  • Nausea.
  • Headache.
  • Appetite changes.
  • Weight gain.
  • Hot flashes.
  • Acne.
  • Increases in facial or body hair.
  • Hair loss.
  • Increase or decrease in sex drive.

Keep in mind that these side effects are rare. Many women do not experience any negative side effects from taking Depo-subQ Provera 104, and those that do experience side effects typically notice minimal symptoms.

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