Contraceptive Injections

The Contraceptive Injection (Depo-Provera, Sayana Press or Noristerat) is given into a muscle in the arm or bottom.

It prevents pregnancy by releasing progesterone into the bloodstream, and lasts for between 8-12 weeks. It can take up to 1 year for fertility to return to normal after the injection wears off.

Like all contraceptive methods other than condoms, the Contraceptive Injection does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

The Contraceptive Injection releases the hormone progesterone which prevents pregnancy in a number of ways:

  • It prevents the woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs
  • It thickens the mucus in the neck of the womb which prevents sperm getting to the egg
  • It makes the lining of the womb thinner, making it harder for a fertilised egg to implant itself into the womb

The Contraceptive Injection is over 99% effective, meaning less than 1 in every 100 women who received the contraceptive injection became pregnant over a 1 year period.

You should visit your doctors surgery or sexual health clinic and ask about having a Contraceptive Injection.  You can find your nearest sexual health clinic here.

  • Works for 8-12 weeks
  • May reduce heavy and painful periods
  • You don’t need to remember to use contraception for at least 8 weeks
  • Does not interrupt sex
  • Can be used if breastfeeding
  • Not affected by other medicines
  • Periods can become irregular, heavier, lighter, last longer or even stop completely
  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • It can take up to a year for your fertility to go back to normal after it wears off - so not suitable if you wish to get pregnant in the near future
  • Side effects can include headaches, mood swings, weight gain and breast tenderness