Contraceptive Injection

NUPAS > Abortion Care > Contraception > Contraceptive Injection

A long-lasting contraception with hormones

The injection contains a hormone called progestogen. The injection prevents pregnancy for 8 – 13 weeks. At NUPAS we offer an injection that lasts 13 weeks. This type of injection is repeated every 12 – 14 weeks. You can keep using the injection without a break.

There two main types of contraceptive injection:

  • Depo-Provera
  • Sayana Press (not currently offered at NUPAS)

Depo-Provera is injected into a muscle. This is usually in the bum or sometimes in the arm.

Sayana Press is self-injected beneath the skin with a tiny needle. This is usually at the front of your thigh or tummy. You can inject Sayana Press yourself at home.  Sayana Press is not currently offered at NUPAS but you can get it at your local sexual health clinic or GP.

How does the injection work?

The injection releases a hormone called progestogen. This hormone stops the body releasing an egg (ovulation). It thickens cervical mucus (fluid at the neck of the womb) to stop sperm reaching an egg. It also thins the lining of the uterus (womb) to stop a fertilised egg attaching and growing.

When can I start using the injection?

You can start using the injection straight away after an abortion. You will be protected from pregnancy immediately.

If you start using the injection more than 5 days after an abortion, you will need to use additional contraception for 7 days.

Advantages, Disadvantages and Effectiveness

All contraception has different advantages, disadvantages and effectiveness. It is important to look at this when finding the right contraception for you.

What are the advantages of the injection?

Does not interrupt sex

Can work for up to 13 weeks

You don’t have to remember to take it every day

Can cause periods to be lighter

Can reduce pain from periods

May protect against cancer of the womb and ovaries

Can help manage some Endometriosis symptoms

Can often be taken by people who cannot take oestrogen

It is not affected by taking other medicines

What are the disadvantages of the injection?

Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Slower return to fertility after stopping

If you don’t like injections, this might not be for you!

What are the risks of the injection?

In very rare cases, some people have an allergic reaction to the injection.

Possible temporary side effects of the injection include:

  • headaches
  • changes in mood
  • decreased sex drive
  • sore breasts
  • hair loss
  • periods could become heavier or lighter.

Other possible side effects include irregular bleeding or periods stopping altogether (4 in 10 people). Some people find they start to get acne, or it makes their acne worse. The injection can cause weight gain. This is more common in under 18’s or overweight people.

Depo-Provera works by lowering levels of oestrogen. This can reduce bone mineral density. This causes slight thinning of the bones. This does not usually cause long-term problems.

As the injection last for several weeks, so will the side effects. Side effects may also last longer.

It can take 6 months or more after stopping the injection for regular periods to return.

On average it takes 6 months for fertility to return after stopping the injection. It can take up to 1 year for fertility to return. Some people do get pregnant soon after stopping.

How effective is the injection?

Using the contraceptive injection perfectly as instructed (every 13 weeks) makes it over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. This means less than 1 in 100 people will get pregnant. With typical use the injection is 94% effective, and around 6 in 100 people will get pregnant in a year.

What makes it less effective?

  • If the follow-up injections are not given in time.

If this happens, you can get advice on emergency contraception to prevent an unintended pregnancy.

Find out more about emergency contraception here.

Protection from STIs

The injection does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We recommend that you also use condoms to protect against STIs. We offer all our patients condoms to take away with them. Get in touch if you’d like advice on the different contraception options after an abortion.

Contraception options available at NUPAS

At your abortion appointment, we will discuss contraception options with you.

Fertility can come back as soon 5 days after an abortion. This means you could get pregnant again if contraception is not used. There are lots of methods of contraception to choose from so don’t be put off if the first type isn’t quite right for you.

Find out more about contraception options available at NUPAS.

Get in touch with NUPAS

Give us a call:

United Kingdom:
0333 004 6666

Republic of Ireland:
(01) 874 0097

0044 161 4872660

Our friendly team is here to take your call