UT Teen Health Health

The Shot / Depo-Provera®

The Shot

effectiveness

typical use

94%


(CDC, 2016)

 

The shot is just what it sounds like—a shot that keeps you from getting pregnant. It’s effect lasts for three months. Some people call the shot “Depo,” short for Depo-Provera®. The shot contains progestin, a hormone that prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs. It also thickens cervical mucous, which helps block sperm from getting to the egg.  In addition, it thins the lining of the uterus, which may prevent implantation.  Given the strong effect of Depo-Provera® on inhibiting ovulation, however, it is unclear if this thinning of the uterus significantly contributes to its contraceptive effect.

Quick Facts!

Long-lasting, hormonal choice for those who can't take estrogen.

Effectiveness

The shot is very effective—as long as you get each shot on time.

Side effects

The most common are irregular bleeding and increased appetite, leading to weight gain.

Effort

Another shot is required every 3 months.

How do I get it?

At a doctor’s office or clinic

Cost

From $0-$75 (for 3 months). An injection fee may also be charged

STI reduction

None.

More about the shot

STI reduction

None.

Long Acting 

The effects of the Depo-Provera® shot will last for 3 months.

 

This method costs about $25 a month—about the same as the pill.

Prices:

  • With Medicaid: Free
  • With insurance: Usually the cost of the co-pay
  • Without insurance:$75 + $19 urine pregnancy test before initial injection (clinic)

An injection is given at the doctor or clinic every three months. It's really important to get shots on time.

Some women will experience a change in appetite leading to weight gain.  Other side effects include:  depression, hair loss or more hair on your face or body, nervousness or dizziness, headache, nausea, sore breasts.  Rare allergic reactions.  May avoid some of the dangers of combined hormonal therapies (blood clots).