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Progesterone Injection

Information

  • It is recommended to wait at least 12 months between pregnancies to reduce the risk of preterm birth, low birthweight and still birth
  • Pregnancy is possible 21 days after the birth of a baby and many unplanned pregnancies occur soon after childbirth
  • Suitable contraception is advised to be established by this point
  • Progesterone injection is safe for most women and safe with breast feeding

How to use

  • Single injection lasting 13 weeks
  • 99% effective with perfect use
  • 94% effective with typical use

Advantages

  • You do not need to remember to take a pill daily
  • Can be taken by those who cannot use oestrogen containing contraception
  • May help painful and/or heavy periods
  • Not affected by other medications
  • Does not interrupt sex

Disadvantages

  • Requires remembering to have repeat injection
  • Side effects include weight gain, irregular bleeding, spotty skin, breast tenderness, headaches, mood changes which can last as long as the injection
  • Can take up to a year for fertility to return
  • Does not protect against STIs

Suitability

  • Not suitable if you have/had breast cancer
  • If you are planning a pregnancy in the next year
  • Have heart disease or history of a stroke
  • Have liver disease

Risks

  • Small risk of infection at injection site
  • Rarely you may have a reaction to injection
  • If used within 6 weeks after the birth of your baby you are more likely to experience heavy and irregular bleeding
  • Thinning of bones (does not increase your risk of breaking a bone and changes are reversed when stopped) therefore avoided if possible, in those under 18 and over 50

Perfect use: Used correctly & consistently as advised, Typical use: Not used consistently as advised, STI: Sexually Transmitted Infection