Contraception
 
Injectable contraceptive
 
What is it?
•    Injectable contraceptive is a hormonal contraceptive method.
•    This form of contraceptive involves an injection into the muscle of the buttocks, thigh or arm.
•    It is intended for women who are unable to use other forms of contraceptive or for whom the Pill is not recommended.
•    Injectable contraceptive is prescribed by a physician. In Québec, it may be prescribed by a nurse for a period of six months in accordance with a collective prescription for hormonal contraception.


 
How does it work?
•    It replaces a woman’s natural menstrual cycle with an artificial cycle.
•    Injections are done by a physician or nurse.
•    It works the same way as the Pill (on ovulation, the endometrium and cervical mucous) but acts mainly on the thickness of the cervical mucous.

 
How is it used?
An injection is administered by a physician or nurse every three months.

 
Advantages

•    A little over half the women who use this method will stop having periods after the first year. After stopping the injections, normal menstruation resumes.
•    This method can alleviate premenstrual pain and reduce the intensity of premenstrual syndrome.

 
Disadvantages
•    Women must see their physician every three months to receive an injection.
•    This injection may cause irregular periods (heavy and long-lasting) or stop menstruation altogether. It can also cause nausea, headache, dizziness, abdominal pain as well as affect weight and mood.
•    Women usually remain infertile for nine months to one year following the last injection.
•    It is recommended less and less (often as a last resort) because an irreversible side effect can be loss of bone density (which increases the risk of fractures and osteoporosis).

 
Cost and effectiveness
•    Cost: approximately $38 to $40 per injection (covered by the RAMQ and private insurance)
•    Effectiveness: 99.5%
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