Home>>Family Medicine>>Adult Health: Birth Control: The Shot

The Shot

The birth control shot, also known as Depo-Provera, is a progesterone-only form of contraception that is administered by your health care provider every 12 weeks.

How well does it work?

  • 97-99% effective at preventing pregnancy

How to use?

  • The shot is administered in the office every three months

What are the advantages?

  • Each shot works for 12 weeks
  • Private
  • Helps prevent cancer of the lining of the uterus (womb)
  • No pill to take daily
  • Can be used while breastfeeding

What are the disadvantages?

  • May cause spotting, no period, weight gain, depression, hair or skin changes, change in sex drive
  • May cause delay in getting pregnant after you stop the shots
  • Side effects may last up to 6 months after you stop the shots
  • Does not protect against HIV or other STIs