Today, hormone injections are available that help prevent pregnancy. These are very effective as emergency contraception as well.
Depo Provera, the brand name for birth control shots, is also known as DMPA or Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate.
It is a hormone injection or ‘shot’ that must be taken once every three months to prevent pregnancy effectively. The shot contains synthetic progesterone and no estrogen, and it is primarily meant to stop the ovary from releasing its eggs.
A high level of progesterone is injected into the woman’s body, usually through the arm, or the hip, and in some cases, directly into the abdomen.
Not only does the medication prevent the release of eggs from the ovary and changes the uterine lining, but it also serves to thicken the cervical mucus, thereby preventing the sperm from being able to enter and to survive in the woman’s uterus.
These are in essence the factors that help avoid fertilization to take place, thereby preventing an unwanted pregnancy.
Although it may be true that taking these birth control shots may be effective because they do not affect the women’s body in any other visible manner, it may be inconvenient, because women has to go back to the clinic once every three months to take another shot.
These are some of the advantages of taking a birth control shot:
- It is completely private; no one needs to know about it.
- It becomes effective after a mere twenty four hours.
- There is no regular care to be taken by the woman after her shot.
- The shot contains no estrogen.
- Risks for ovarian and uterine cancer decreases.
However, there are a few disadvantages as well:
- The risk of osteoporosis increases.
- Does not offer any protection against sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS.
- The woman needs a new shot every three months.
- There may be a delay in fertilization after the shots have been stopped.
- Weight gain.
Anyone can use birth control shots. However, if the woman is pregnant already, she must not use the shot.
She must not use it too if she has vaginal bleeding, if she had suffered from stroke, if she has had liver disease, or if she is allergic to the ingredients in the birth control shot.