1) What are Injectable Contraceptives?
The only injectable contraceptive currently available in INDIA is Progestin- only injectable that has Depot Medroxy Progesterone Acetate or DMPA.
DMPA is injected deep into a muscle, such as the buttock or upper arm, once every three months ( 13 weeks ). This injection does not contain any Estrogen so can be used throughout breastfeeding also. Women who cannot use contraceptive methods with Estrogen can freely use the injectables.
2) Who can take progesterone only injections?
Nearly all women can use progestin-only injectables safely and effectively, including women who:
- Have or have not had children
- Are not married
- Are breast feeding
- Are of any age, including adolescents and women over 40 years old
- Have just had an abortion or miscarriage
- Smoke cigarettes, regardless of woman’s age or number of cigarettes smoked
- Are infected with HIV, whether or not on antiretroviral therapy
3) How does Injectable Contraceptive method work?
The injectable contraceptive or DMPA work primarily by preventing the release of eggs from the ovaries.
They also effect following changes in the women’s body
- Thickens the cervical mucus, making the cervix impenetrable to sperm.
- Changes the lining of the uterus preventing implantation
4) What are its Advantages ?
- Do not require daily maintenance and once administered, no need to worry for three months.
- Do not interfere with sex
- Very private: No one else can tell that a woman is using contraception!
- Cause no monthly bleeding (for many women)
- May help women to gain weight
Help protect against the following conditions also:
- Cancer of the lining of the uterus (endometrial cancer)
- Uterine fibroids
- Symptomatic pelvic inflammatory disease
- Iron-deficiency anaemia
5) What are its Disadvantages ?
The most common side effects of DMPA are irregular or prolonged bleeding and spotting, particularly during the first few months of use.
6) What kind of bleeding changes may happen with DMPA injection?
DMPA injection causes changes in bleeding pattern of women.
First 3 months:
- Irregular bleeding
- Prolonged bleeding
At one year:
- No monthly bleeding
- Infrequent bleeding
7) Does periods completely stop after DMPA injection?
Up to 50 percent of women completely stop having menstrual periods (amenorrhea) after one year of DMPA use. However, periods generally return within six months of the last DMPA injection
8) When does fertility return after DMPA use?
DMPA is long-acting contraceptive method. It may not be ideal for women who wish to become pregnant shortly after stopping the medication. Although most women are able to conceive within 6-10 months, fertility may take up to 18 months to return after the stopping the injection.
9) If a woman does not have monthly bleeding while using progestin-only injectables, does this mean that she is pregnant?
If you have been getting your injections on time, you are probably not pregnant and can keep using injectables. Eventually most women using progestin-only injectables will not have monthly bleeding. If you are still worried after being reassured, you can take a pregnancy test. If not having monthly bleeding bothers you, switching to another method may help.
8) Do DMPA and NET-EN cause abortion?
No. Research on progestin-only injectables finds that they do not disrupt an existing pregnancy. They should not be used to try to cause an abortion. They will not do so.
10) How much weight do women gain when they use progestin-only Injectables ?
Women gain an average of 1–2 kg per year when using DMPA. Some of the weight increase may be the usual weight gain as people age. Some women, particularly overweight adolescents, have gained much more than 1–2 kg per year. At the same time, some users of progestin-only injectables lose weight or have no significant change in weight