Contraceptive injections are the preferred contraceptive for around 3% of women in the UK and are used by millions more women around the world. For many people the contraceptive injection, or 'jab', is an ideal option as it provides long-term protection without the need for regular updating or upkeep. For many women, knowing that they will be protected for a certain amount of time after the injection is administered is a definite bonus.
It is important for women seeking contraception to compare the contraceptive methods are available to them. Contraceptive injection use, for example, is likely to be considered by women seeking mid to long-term protection, however there are several other methods that they may also consider. Comparing the different varieties of contraceptive to find the best choice is an important part of making sure that a woman makes the best choice for her.
The contraceptive jab works by gradually releasing the hormone progestogen into the bloodstream, which in turn prevents the ovaries from releasing the eggs during ovulation. It also causes mucus in the cervix to thicken, preventing sperm from reaching any unfertilised eggs, and the lining of the womb to thin so that it cannot support a fertilised egg. The administering of the injection depends on the jab that you choose, but the injection will be on the bottom, on the arm or in the abdomen or thigh.
The benefits of the jab are varied and reasons for choosing it can vary from person to person. For those wondering how effective the contraceptive jab is, some of the most commonly mentioned benefits include:
As with the benefits, the disadvantages of the contraceptive injection can and will likely vary from woman to woman. For some women the semi-permanency of the jab is a concern, with its effects not wearing off until the medication has run its course and with their being no way of counteracting it except to wait. This type of contraceptive is unlikely to appeal to women who have an issue with injections and needles and, in addition, some women have been put off by the idea of having to visit their doctor for a refresher injection every two to three months.
The contraceptive injection is not suitable for everyone, and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding then you may not be allowed to use it. The jab may also be unsuitable for women suffering from other conditions such as heart disease, liver disease or breast cancer, for example. Additionally, a doctor is likely to advise against using this form of contraception where women have had adverse reactions to progestogen, the active ingredient in contraceptive jabs.
As with most medications, there is a chance that a person will experience side effects after receiving the injection; though it is often rare and is unlikely to cause any prolonged issues, the side effects with the injected contraceptive can sometimes include period disruption, weight gain and, in some very rare cases, infection at the site of injection.
In order to use this contraceptive method you must visit a doctor. A patient cannot administer the injection herself and so maintaining your protection will require regular visits to your GP or local sexual health clinic. For some people the regular visits to the doctor can be off-putting and so, if this is the case, the contraceptive jab is unlikely to be a good fit.
It is important to compare the contraceptive injection with other options, as it may be that some women would prefer a less-permanent contraceptive treatment. There are various other options available and it is likely that, for some people, the less permanent option would be more suitable. Not using a long-term contraceptive is especially important for women who are not entirely sure about when they are going to want to be able to conceive – in those cases, a more flexible treatment is likely to be preferred. Additionally, for some women who do not want to have to regularly visit their doctor to maintain their level of protection, different options such as the combined contraceptive pill, mini-pill,
If you are currently using the contraceptive jab and are looking to switch to a more flexible option then it is always worth considering the benefits of the various oral contraceptive methods that can be found on the site.