What is it?

The contraceptive injection releases the hormone progestogen into the body which stops an egg being released from the ovaries (ovulation) to prevent pregnancy. It is injected into the bottom.

How effective is it?

The contraceptive injection is more than 99% effective at preventing unplanned pregnancy. This means that less than 1 out of 100 women who use the injection will become pregnant in a year.

What are the advantages?

  • Protects against pregnancy for 12 weeks
  • Periods may become irregular or stop (so would be a good choice if you get heavy periods)
  • It is not affected by other medicines
  • May protect against cancer of the uterus and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Can be used while breastfeeding
  • It can be useful for women who can't use contraception that contains oestrogen

What else should I know?

  • It does not protect you against STIs so always use a condom
  • May not be suitable for some women - a full medical history should be taken
  • Regular periods and fertility (ability to have children) may take up to a year to return after stopping the injections
  • Side effects can sometimes include weight gain and headaches
  • Using Depo-Provera affects your natural oestrogen levels, which can cause thinning of the bones. This isn't a problem for most women because the bone replaces itself when you stop the injection, and it doesn't appear to cause any long-term problems
  • It is important to have a repeat injection every 12 weeks. If you are late and have had unprotected sex (sex without condoms) you may need emergency contraception . Please seek advice from a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Where can I get the injection?

Find your nearest services using our services page.


You Choose

NHS Direct
0845 4647

Sex - Worth Talking About
0800 28 29 30

 Lambeth Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood Partnership
©2011 NHS Lambeth. Terms & Conditions