Understanding a Contraceptive Injection

Contraceptive injections are perfect for women who have trouble remembering to take birth control pills or who do not want to have think about birth control options at all. You only have to get the injection once every 11 weeks, and besides that, you don't have to think about it again. It is very effective at preventing pregnancy and is relatively convenient.

A contraceptive injection is a shot you receive once every 11 weeks to prevent pregnancy. The injection supplies a cocktail of hormones that suppress ovulation and changes your cervical mucus such that it will resist the penetration of sperm. It has a 99% effectiveness rate and is not affected by the use of antibiotics (most oral contraceptives are rendered ineffective by antibiotics, so this is a perfect method of contraception for those who are on long term antibiotics).  In essence, the contraceptive injection fools your body into thinking it is pregnant, causing you to possibly take on some of the common symptoms associated with being pregnant.

Contraceptive injections often cause women to stop having menstrual periods, which can be a huge bonus if you've had difficult periods. However, it is a long-acting contraceptive, meaning your periods may not resume for a few months after you stop taking the injections, so beware if you want to be able to start and stop trying to get pregnant quickly. It may delay your ability to get pregnant for several months. Also, if you happen to be one of the women who develops adverse side effects such as weight gain, irregular bleeding and darkening of spots on your skin, you will not be able to stop those symptoms right away. You will have to ride out the duration of the shot before your body will return to normal.

Contraceptive injections are convenient, but some women don't like the idea of putting extra hormones in their bodies for such an extended period of time. Some women also don't like the fact that injections do not protect against STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Only you can decide if the convenience outweighs the negatives. If you are healthy and are in a monogamous relationship (and therefore do not have to worry about STDs), a contraceptive injection may be just the right birth control option for you.

Always speak to a doctor before beginning a new birth control method. He or she will be able to provide the most current information for you and decide if this method of contraceptives is right for you.

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