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Description: An injectable is a hormonal injection that provides a longer-acting alternative to the pill. It works by slowly releasing the hormone progestogen into the body to stop ovulation. Each injection lasts 8 to 12 weeks. Injections may reduce heavy and/or painful periods and may provide some protection against uterine cancer.
Considerations: The injection may cause irregular periods or stopping altogether. It can take over a year for fertility to return to normal after stopping contraceptive injections. Therefore, injections may not be suitable for a woman who is planning to start a family in the near future. It is important to remember the due date for the next injection (which may be every 8-12 weeks, depending on the choice of injection), to continue the contraceptive cover. Injections do not offer protection against sexually transmitted infections or HIV/AIDS.
Availability: MSS clinics and pharmacies.
Myth: – Injections cause bloating.
Fact: – Some women experience weight gain of only about 1-2 kilograms in the first year of use, and not in subsequent years. This can be controlled with exercise.
Myth: – Periods stop and the woman becomes infertile.
Fact: – Continuous use of injections can cause periods to stop but does not make the woman infertile. Stopping usage causes periods and fertility to return.
Myth: – The use of injections may cause cancer.
Fact: – On the contrary, injections may help protect against uterine and ovarian cancer.
Myth: – The ‘dirty blood’ of periods collects in the body, adversely affecting the eyes.
Fact: – Periods stop due to the thinning of the uterine lining, therefore no blood is collected in the body and the eyes are not affected in any way. Stopping usage causes the uterine lining to be rebuilt again, which allows the menstrual cycle to resume.