Contraceptive injection

About: Contraceptive injections last between 8 and 13 weeks. In the UK the most contraceptive injections are given every 13 weeks and are estimated to be over 99% effective when administered on time. We currently use two different types:

  1. Depo-Provera – given every 13 weeks usually given into a muscle in your bottom, although sometimes it may be given in the muscle in your upper arm.
  2. Sayana Press - given every 13 weeks under the skin of your stomach or thigh. You might be able to give this injection yourself at home. See the NHS video for more information about Sayana Press

How it works: It releases a hormone called progestogen. This prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation).

How to use it: Make sure your repeat injection is given at the correct time. You do not need to remember to take it every day or during sex.

Who can use it: Most women can use the contraceptive injection. It might not be for you if you want to keep regular periods, want a baby in the next year, or if you have one certain medical conditions.

Advantages: Include not having to remember to take it every day, safe with breastfeeding, and may reduce heavy or painful periods.

Disadvantages: Does not protect against STIs, periods may become irregular or heavier, periods and fertility may take time to return after stopping the injection.

Where to get it: Most types of contraception are free in the UK and available through the NHS including most GP surgeries, sexual health clinics and some young people’s services.

More information

Visit NHS Choices - Contraceptive injection