Frequently Asked Questions about Contraceptive Injections
What is a contraceptive injection?
This is an injection that contains only one hormone and is injected to prevent pregnancy for up to 3 months. There are some types of this injection that are injected once a month/in two months but the 3 month type is the most convenient and popular as you will only need 4 shots to be covered for the whole year. An example is DMPA Sc..
How does the contraceptive injection like DMPA Sc. work?
It works by releasing low doses of hormone for 3 months. This is similar to taking the contraceptive pill daily. This hormone prevents ovulation, and thickens cervical mucus so it is difficult for sperm to swim through thus preventing fertilization and pregnancy.
How is DMPA Sc. given?
DMPA Sc. is injected into the front upper thigh or the abdomen (away from the navel) using an easy-to use, pre-filled device with a small needle.
Who cannot use DMPA Sc.?
These are women who are already pregnant, have severe hypertension or have had a heart attack/stroke, have or develop migraines, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, severe liver disease, uncontrolled diabetes, have or develop Lupus (an autoimmune disorder), known or suspected breast cancer or women who are breastfeeding a baby that is younger than 6 weeks old.
What side effects should you expect while receiving DMPA Sc.?
Common side effects that you should expect are amenorrhea (no bleeding), prolonged or heavy vaginal bleeding, irregular bleeding or spotting, nausea/abdominal discomfort, headache and dizziness. Amenorrhea is not a sign of ill health while on DMPA Sc. and when you stop using DMPA Sc. your period will return to normal in a few months.
When does DMPA Sc. start working after administration?
If given within the first 5 days of your menstrual cycle (day 1 is when bleeding starts), DMPA Sc. starts working immediately, BUT if given at any other time of the month, you should rule out pregnancy and give the injection. The client must use a back-up method for the next seven days. After 7 days, she is already protected from pregnancy by DMPA Sc.
Is it safe for you to switch between DMPA Sc. and Depo Provera?
YES. It is safe to switch from Depo Provera to DMPA Sc., as long as you are eligible for reinjection of DMPA
What will happen if DMPA Sc. is injected in a muscle?
If DMPA Sc. is given in a muscle; it will not be as effective, so pinch the skin before giving. Luckily, DMPA Sc. needle is much shorter than the Depo Provera needle so it is not likely that it will reach the muscle.
When should DMPA Sc. be given if you are breastfeeding?
You can go on to take DMPA Sc. as long as your baby is 6 weeks old or more
How soon can you get pregnant after stopping DMPA Sc.?
Earliest return to ovulation after DMPA Sc. was 4 weeks while average return to ovulation was 3-6months. Be AWARE that you are likely to experience a delay in return to fertility if you desire to get pregnant after discontinuing DMPA Sc..
Can you go early or late for your injection?
If you are up to 2 weeks early or 4 weeks late, you can still get the injection without fear of being pregnant