the shot

Which is better, the pill or the shot?

Question: Which is better, the pill or the shot?

Answer:  There are advantages and disadvantages to all methods of hormonal birth control.

Birth control pill:

  • Uses hormones (estrogen and progestin) to prevent ovulation
  • Efficacy: 92-99%
  • Take one pill a day at the same time
  • Advantages: Very effective when used correctly, can make menstrual cycle more regular and less painful
  • Disadvantages:  Need to remember to take daily, possible side effects due to estrogen, does not provide protection from sexually transmitted infections (STI) or HIV
  • Possible side effects: dizziness, nausea, headache, change in menstrual cycle, change in appetite, change in mood and although rare, possible chance of blood clots

The Shot:

  • The hormone progestin prevents ovulation
  • Efficacy: 97-99%
  • One shot every 3 months
  • Advantages: Each shot works for 12 weeks, no estrogen side effects, can be used while breast feeding
  • Disadvantages:  irregular menstrual cycles, does not provide protection from sexually transmitted infections (STI) or HIV
  • Possible side effects: headache, change in menstrual cycle, change in appetite, change in mood and in long time users, possible risk of decrease in bone mineral density

The best contraceptive choice depends on your medical history and personal goals.  I encourage you to call and make an appointment to discuss your options with our medical staff (440) 352-0608.

How do I change my birth control?

Question: I am switching from the depo shot to the birth control pills. My expiration date for my shot is February 10th, would I have to wait until then to start taking the birth control pills?

Answer:   You can take your first birth control pill up to 15 weeks after your last Depo injection.  However, I would suggest scheduling an appointment at Family Planning when you are due for your next Depo injection and discuss your options with the nurse.  Irregardless of what type of birth control you switch to, please use a back up method, such as condoms, during the first month.

How will the Affordable Care Act impact me?

Question: I’ve been kind of getting confused with the new Obama Care coming into play, and I’ve heard from peers that insurance companies will be required to give free birth control, is this true? Cause at the moment I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford the DeproVera shot or the Patch (I have blood clots, so I can’t be on the Pill) and my insurance company doesn’t cover much as it is. Can you please clarify the new birth control policies? Thank You

Answer:  The Affordable Care Act is going to impact everyone a little differently, depending on your insurance company and the plan you hold.  I would encourage you to contact your insurance agent or visit to explore your options.  You can also call Family Planning, schedule an appointment and we can work with you and your insurance.  Either way, we can work with you to make sure you are able to receive the best birth control method for you.  However, the patch (OrthoEvra) might not be a great alternative if you are unable to use birth control methods with estrogen.  I would encourage you to call Family Planning 352-0608 and schedule an appointment to discuss progestin only birth control options.

I forgot to go for my depo injection?

“I forgot to go for my depo injection. Im like 12 days late will this make me pregnant or should I just go and get it. How long after your due date can you go for the next depo or should i go on the date they give me?”

A: “Anytime a birth control method is used incorrectly there is a risk for pregnancy. Please contact your health care provider for additional information regarding your specific situation.”

Where do they give you the shot?

“1- Yes where on your person do they give you the shot. 2- Are doctors aloud to give you the shot in a prescription form -ie she gave me the prescription to go fill my self and take my self. 3- is this correct or is my doctor a bumb?”

A: “The birth control shot commonly known as Depo Provera is a hormonal method of birth control. A woman who chooses the shot as her method of contraception will receive the shot once every 3 months either in the arm or buttock. The shot is administered by a health care professional at the the doctor’s office.”

No period on Depo-Provera

“Can Depo Provora be taken after 13 weeks even if the mensuration has not been in the schedule time in the
last months.
Is it possible pregnency if mensuraaation does not occur in the in the third months”

A: It is common for users of Depo Provera to have no period at all while they are on the shot. It is unlikely you are pregnant. Be sure to tell your physician about this before you receive your next injection. If you have additional questions, please contact the physician who prescribed the injection.

Depo Shot?

“I used to go to a regular obgyn but had a disagreement when he called me fat. I am due for my depo shot around december 1st. What do i do? I’m 17 and my mom and I are starting to freak out.”

A: If you are interested in coming to The Family Planning clinic to get the Depo shot,we recommend calling to make an appointment as soon as possible. New patients will need to have an annual exam before receiving any birth control. Unfortunately, we have limited numbers of appointments available.

Questions about the shot

“Is it good to take the birth control shot just to gain weight? Also, is it a lot easier to get pregnant while taking the shot? Can you get pregnant the same month that you get your shot? Is it okay for you to have unprotected sex while taking the shot? If you want to, can you stop taking the shot and get on the birth control pill?”

A: The “shot” is not to be used solely for the purpose of weight gain, as not everyone will gain weight on the shot. The shot is 99.7% effective and a person only needs to use a condom as a back-up method for one week following their first shot. If after starting the shot someone wants to switch methods, that is typically done around the time the next shot is due.