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Home > Health Library > Birth Control Hormones: The Shot
The shot is used to prevent pregnancy. You get the shot in your upper arm or rear end (buttocks). The shot gives you a dose of the hormone progestin. The shot is often called by its brand name, Depo-Provera.
Progestin prevents pregnancy in these ways: It thickens the mucus in the cervix. This makes it hard for sperm to travel into the uterus. It also thins the lining of the uterus, which makes it harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus. Progestin can sometimes stop the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation).
The shot provides birth control for 3 months at a time. You then need another shot.
The shot may cause bone loss. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.
In the first year of use:footnote 1
Be sure to tell your doctor about any health problems you have or medicines you take. He or she can help you choose the birth control method that is right for you.
Trussell J, Guthrie KA (2011). Choosing a contraceptive: Efficacy, safety, and personal considerations. In RA Hatcher et al., eds., Contraceptive Technology, 20th ed., pp. 45–74. Atlanta: Ardent Media.
Current as ofSeptember 5, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Current as of:
September 5, 2018
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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