DMPA Injectible Contraceptives
Women receive these injections to prevent pregnancy. This method is seen to be very effective. A rate as low as 0.3 per 100 women in the first year of use have been recorded when injections are regularly spaced 3 months apart.
How does it work?
- It mainly stops ovulation (release of eggs from ovaries).
- It thickens the cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to pass through.
- It does not disrupt existing pregnancy.
- It is very effective, and results in long term pregnancy prevention, which is reversible. One injection can prevent pregnancy for 3 months.
- It does not interfere with sex and can be used at any stage.
- Breast-feeding mothers can feel safe, as it does not harm the quantity and quality of breast milk. It can be used by nursing mothers as soon as six weeks after childbirth.
- It has no estrogen side effects. It does not increase the risk of estrogen related complications such as heart attack.
- It helps prevent endomaterial cancer and uterine fibroids. It may also help prevent ovarian cancer.
- Common side effects (not signs of sickness):
Changes in menstrual bleeding are likely, including--- light spotting or bleeding, which is most common in the beginning. Heavy bleeding, though rare, too can occur in the beginning. Amenorrhea is a normal effect especially after the first year of use.
- These injections may cause weight gain (average of 1-2 kilos, or 2-4 lbs., each year). Changes in the diet can prevent weight gain. But some women also see it as an advantage.
- Headaches, breast tenderness, moodiness, nausea, hair loss, less sex drive, and or acne in some women.
- Does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.
During Menstruation: A woman can start anytime she is reasonable certain that she is not pregnant. If started during the first seven days after the menstrual bleeding starts, and if she is still bleeding, no back up method is needed for extra protection.
Breast-feeding: It can be taken as early as six weeks after childbirth. If the woman is not breast-feeding after childbirth, it can be taken immediately or in the first six weeks after childbirth. She need not wait for her menstrual period to return. It can also be taken after six weeks, or any time it is reasonably certain that she is not pregnant. If not reasonably certain, then it is advisable to avoid sex, or use of condom or spermicide until her first periods begin and then start DMPA.
After miscarriage or abortion: It can be started immediately or in the first 7 days after either first or second trimester miscarriage or abortion, or later when reasonable certain that she is not pregnant.
Use of DMPA Injectibles:
- They are very effective and safe.
- Changes in vaginal bleeding are very normal. It is not harmful and not a sign of danger.