There are two contraceptive injections.

  • Depo-Provera, which lasts for 12 weeks.
  • Noristerat, which lasts for eight weeks.

The most popular is Depo-Provera. The injection is a long-acting reversible method of contraception (LARC).

What are the benefits of an injection?

  • It is more than 99 per cent effective if used correctly.
  • It does not interrupt sex.
  • It is an option if you cannot use oestrogen-based contraception.
  • It is safe to use while breastfeeding.
  • It may reduce heavy, painful periods and help with premenstrual symptoms for some women.
  • It lasts for eight weeks or 12 weeks (depending on the type).
  • It can be useful for women who might forget to take the contraceptive pill every day.
  • It can be useful for women who can't use contraception that contains oestrogen.
  • It's not affected by medication.

Things to consider

  • It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
  • Side effects can include weight gain, headaches, mood swings, breast tenderness and irregular bleeding.
  • The injection can't be removed from your body, so if you have side effects they'll last as long as the injection and for some time afterwards.
  • Your periods may become more irregular or longer, or stop altogether.
  • It can take up to one year for your fertility to return to normal after the injection wears off.
  • Using Depo-Provera affects your natural oestrogen levels, which can cause thinning of the bones.

Where can I get more information?

The Family Planning Association provides a range of helpful information.

My contraception tool

The FPA has developed an interactive tool that can help you find out which methods of contraception may be best for you.

The tool asks questions about your health, lifestyle and contraceptive preferences. All your answers are completely confidential and can't be linked back to you. The tool is available on their website.

Find out more