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What Is the Birth Control Shot?

The birth control shot, also known as Depo-subQ Provera 104, is a contraceptive injection that is used to prevent pregnancy. The shot uses progestin, an active hormone, to help stop the growth and release of an egg.

Injections

The shot should be injected during the first five days of your period. After that, the injection should be repeated every 12 to 14 weeks. The shot is typically injected in either the stomach or upper thigh.

Benefits

  • Easy to manage: The shot is only required about four times per year, so it’s easier to manage compared to daily and monthly forms of birth control.
  • Estrogen-free: Because it does not contain any estrogen, the shot is a popular birth control option for women who have experienced negative side effects from estrogen-based birth control methods or who are breastfeeding.
  • Relief for endometriosis: The shot can help to treat endometriosis by lowering hormones in the body that lead to abnormal tissue growth associated with the disorder.
  • Relief for menstrual symptoms: Some women experience lighter periods or stop having periods altogether when they use the shot for birth control. Some also experience fewer menstrual cramps.

Efficacy

Injectable birth control is about 94% effective at preventing pregnancy with typical use. The risk of pregnancy is lower in women who always get their shot on time. Keep in mind that while Depo-subQ Provera 104 does work to prevent pregnancy, it does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

How to Get It

Depo-subQ Provera 104 is available by prescription only. Nurx™ can help you get a prescription by connecting you with a doctor in your home state. Be sure to tell your medical provider if you have a history of osteoporosis, liver disease, breast cancer, heart attack, stroke, or blood clots when you ask about the birth control shot.

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