What is it? How does it work?
The shot contains progestin, which is a hormone that prevents your ovaries from releasing eggs each month and thickens your cervical mucus. It comes in a pre-filled syringe that can be self injected at home (no need to visit the doctor or clinic). To be effective, the shot needs to be self administered every 3 months.
How to use it?
Inject the shot every 12 weeks under the skin of your belly or thigh. The best time to start SubQ Depo is on the first day of your period, or up to 5 days later. If that’s not convenient, you can start at any time as long as you are sure you’re not pregnant. You’ll need to use another form of birth control, such as condoms, for the first 7 days after the first shot. You can store the pre-filled syringe at room temperature.
The shot will come with directions for use but here is a step by step guide:
To safely dispose of the used needle, put it in a laundry detergent bottle (or other thick plastic container that can be sealed) and place it in the trash (do not recycle). Here is a reference guide that can help you understand your state’s requirements for safe needle disposal (you can also find safe drop off locations near you).
How effective is it?
The shot is very effective: it prevents pregnancy 94% of the time with typical use. With perfect use, it is 99% effective
What are the side effects?
The most common side effects experienced with the shot are weight gain and irregular bleeding. However, there is a low risk of side effects given the low dose of hormones in the self administered shot.
Does it protect me against sexually transmitted infections?
The shot does not provide protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
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