UT Teen Health Health

The Shot / Depo-Provera®

The Shot


typical use


(CDC, 2016)


The shot is just what it sounds like—a shot that reduces the risk of getting pregnant. Its effect lasts for three months.

Quick Facts!

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


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.


Another shot is required every 3 months.

How do I get it?

At a doctor’s office or clinic


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

STI reduction


More about the shot

STI reduction


Longer 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.


  • 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).