Hormonal Injections (Depo-Provera)

Depo-Provera is a hormone-containing shot that is given by a healthcare professional to prevent pregnancy.

How does it work?

Depo-Provera contains progestin, which prevents the release of an egg. This is also called ovulation. Without an egg, a pregnancy cannot be created. It also thins the lining of the uterus so that if an egg is released, it cannot grow into a pregnancy in the uterus. The shot is given in the muscle of the arm or buttocks (balm) every 12 weeks (3 months) and should be given within 5 days of starting your period.

Where can you get it?

Depo-Provera is available at most pharmacies with a prescription from a medical practitioner. The shots need to be given by medical practitioner.

How much does it cost?

At a pharmacy, one shot costs about $40. The Sexual Health Centre at 179 Clarence Street provides the hormonal injection at the discounted rate of 15$.

How effective is Depo-Provera?

The shot is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

Does Depo-Provera reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections?

No. The shot does not reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections.

Reasons someone might choose this method of birth control

  • You are looking for a highly effective, long-lasting form of birth control
  • You prefer the convenience of 4 injections a year to a daily pill
  • You are breastfeeding

Reasons someone might not choose this method of birth control

  • You are uncomfortable with needles
  • You are concerned about experiencing unwanted side effects, which might last until the shot wears off in 3 months
  • You are unable to get the shot every 12 weeks
  • You or your doctor are concerned about bone-density loss
  • You are thinking about getting pregnant soon — while it is possible to get pregnant soon after your last shot it can take a long time to get pregnant: anywhere from 6–10 months.

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