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Injectable Contraception


Injectable contraception is birth control medicine that is given as a shot. This medicine helps prevent pregnancy.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have heavy vaginal bleeding.
  • You have yellow eyes or skin.
  • You have severe pain in your stomach or abdomen.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your period lasts longer than is normal for you.
  • You do not get a period.
  • You have unprotected sex before you have your shots.
  • You have changes in your mood.
  • You have questions or concerns about injectable contraceptives.

Use injectable contraception as directed:

Your healthcare provider will tell you when you can start injectable contraception. You may need to use a different method of contraception for the first 7 days after you get the shot. You may need blood or urine tests before you start this medicine. You may use this method in any of the following situations:

  • During your menstrual cycle , you can start to use injectable contraception. You should get your first shot within 5 days after your cycle starts, if you have regular menstrual cycles. If you have irregular bleeding or no periods you may get the shot any time.
  • When you switch methods of contraception , you may need injectable contraception until your new method is working. This may decrease your risk of becoming pregnant.
  • After you give birth , you are given the first shot between 6 weeks and 6 months after delivery. If you are not breastfeeding, you may have the shot any time.


  • Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage. They can also increase your risk for a blood clot while you use injectable contraception. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
  • Increase your daily intake of calcium and vitamin D to make your bones stronger and help prevent fractures. Foods rich in calcium include milk, yogurt, and cheese. You may need to take to take vitamins with calcium and vitamin D. You should get 1300 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D per day when using injectable contraception. Talk to your healthcare provider before you take vitamins.
  • Exercise regularly to build bone and muscle strength. Ask your healthcare provider about exercises that are right for you.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.