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Quarterly contraceptive injection

The quarterly contraceptive injection has progesterone, which acts to inhibit ovulation and increase the viscosity of the cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to pass through, preventing pregnancy. Injections of this type are DepoProvera and Contraceptive, which can suppress menstruation completely during these three months, although in some cases minor bleeding may occur during the month.

Generally, for fertility to return to normal, it takes about 4 months after the end of treatment, which is equivalent to about 7 months after the last injection, but some women may notice that menstruation takes about 1 year to return to normal, after stopping this contraceptive method.

Quarterly contraceptive injection

Benefits of quarterly contraceptive injection

This type of contraceptive method has the benefits of reducing menstrual flow, fighting PMS symptoms, reducing the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer, reducing pelvic inflammatory disease and, in addition, may also aid in the control of endometriosis symptoms. Clarify all your doubts about endometriosis here.

This contraceptive method is especially suited for women who can not use estrogens and is also a good option for women with sickle cell anemia or epilepsy because this type of birth control decreases seizures, although the way it acts in the body is not fully understood.

How is it administered

The administration of this contraceptive should be done by a health care professional, who will administer it intramuscularly.

1. First application

If you do not use another contraceptive method and are using the injection for the first time, you should receive the injection quarterly until the 5th day of your menstrual cycle, which is equivalent to the 5th day after the first day of menstruation. In these cases, a condom should be used during the first two weeks in order to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.

To start using this contraceptive after giving birth, it is recommended the injection be given 5 days after delivery you are not breast-feeding or 6 weeks after delivery if you are breast-feeding.

2. Second and following applications 

You should receive the next injection at the latest up to 91 days after the previous injection, whether or not bleeding has occurred, which is equivalent to about 12 to 13 weeks.

3. Changing your contraceptive method

If you are taking a contraceptive method and wish to start using a quarterly injection, you should receive it within 7 days after the last tablet, vaginal ring or adhesive removal.

What to do if you forget to take the injection

If you forgot to take the next injection and it has already passed 91 days, you should undergo a pregnancy blood test. If you are not pregnant, you should talk to your doctor, who will decide the date of the next injection, however, you should use a condom for the period of time indicated by your doctor.

Main side effects

The most common side effects that may occur during the use of the quarterly injection are nervousness, headache, abdominal pain and discomfort, and increased or decreased weight.

In addition, depression, decreased sex drive, dizziness, nausea, abdominal distension, hair loss, acne, rash, back pain, vaginal discharge, breast tenderness, fluid retention and weakness may also occur.

Who shouldn't use it

The quarterly contraceptive injection is not indicated in the following situations:

  • Pregnancy or suspected pregnancy;
  • Known hypersensitivity to medroxyprogesterone acetate or to any component of the formula;
  • Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding;
  • Suspicion or confirmation of breast cancer;
  • Severe changes in liver function;
  • Active thrombophlebitis or current or past history of thromboembolic or cerebrovascular disorders;
  • History of abortion retained.

See other contraceptive methods that can help prevent pregnancy.

Bibliography >

  • ANVISA. DEPO-PROVERA® Suspensão Injetável 150 mg/ml. Available on: <http://www.anvisa.gov.br/datavisa/fila_bula/frmVisualizarBula.asp?pNuTransacao=9327652015&pIdAnexo=2907398>. Access in 24 Apr 2019
  • ALMEIDA, Nelson C.; VIOLA, Regina C. et al.. Assistência em planejamento familiar. Manual técnico, 2002. Ministério da Saúde.
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