The Contraceptive Injection




The contraceptive injection is a highly effective form of contraception if it is given regularly and is classed as a long-acting contraception or LARC. There are 2 types of injection which are both made from a very similar drug which is a type of progesterone and needs to be given every 13 weeks.

One is called depo-provera (or depo for short) which requires a nurse of doctor to give it to you and the other is sayana press which you can give yourself. They work by stopping you producing and egg so work well at preventing pregnancy and with perfect use only 1 in 500 women get pregnant, sometimes we might forget to come on time for our injection so with typical use 6 in 100 might get pregnant using this method.


Advantages of taking the contraceptive injection

  • You do not have to remember to take something every day.
  • They are not affected by diarrhoea or vomiting or some medications that break down drugs quickly (enzyme inducers).
  • They can thin the lining down of the womb so that you periods may be lighter or stop.
  • They do not increase your risk of bloods clots or strokes so can be used if you smoke, are very over weight or have certain types of migraines.

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  • Irregular or unpredictable bleeding.
  • Can increase weight.
  • Might affect skin, mood, sex drive and cause headaches but may also improve them.
  • May reduce thickness of bones whilst you are on it.
  • Can take a while for periods to return when the injection is stopped so you may not wish to use it if you are planning pregnancy soon.

If you would like further information please click on the links below:


Process for switching to Sayana Press

If you already have the depo-provera from a nurse and would like to switch, please discuss this with them at your next appointment, they can demonstrate how this can be done or observe you giving it yourself.

So what do you need to do next if you are keen to go ahead?

We like you to start by arranging a telephone appointment with one of the GPs. It would be really helpful if you can check your weight and height before we speak.

We will check that the injection is safe for you and that you have no risk of getting pregnant before the injection starts. It takes 7 days after the first injection for the contraception effect to work so depending on what current contraception you are on you may need to continue with it.

We will send a prescription for 4 Sayana Press injections and a sharps bin to your local pharmacy. We will email you an agreement that you need to sign and keep as a record. You need to keep the injections at room temperature, so not in the fridge, and safely away from children. The sharps bin is to put the whole injection into immediately after you have used it.

Please go to the website that explains how to give yourself the injection and you will then have a video call with one of our nursing team who can watch you give yourself the first injection and check you are happy with how it works. You inject it just under your skin on your tummy or front of your thighs.

You will have the next 3 injections to give which will last you a whole year. At the end of the year arrange for the council to collect the sharps bin for safe disposal and, if you want to carry on we can give you another prescription for a year of injections. We will want to speak to you at least every 2 years to check it is still the best method for you.

We will want you to tell us if:

  • you get bleeding that is different from your normal pattern, especially after sex, 
  • if you are getting problems at the sites where you inject it
  • you want to discuss any side effects you are having especially low mood
  • if you realise it has been more than 14 weeks since your last injection so we can work out the next steps. 

You might want to sign up at the Sayana Press website for reminders.

As with all contraception, it can take time to work out what suits you. If you have any questions or worries, please contact us at Claremont or go to website, listen to podcasts for more information.

If after reading this you have any questions regarding the injection please complete Patient Triage


Contraceptive Injection appointment/request review

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Contraception Injection Review

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