Birth control shot is a progestin injection given to a woman once in every 3 months to protect her from conceiving. This contraceptive method carries a number of advantages and disadvantages that include:
Advantages of Birth Control Shot
- The major advantage of birth control shot is that you need to get it only once every 13 to 14 weeks.
- A long-lasting method to prevent pregnancy, it enhances one’s sex life.
- Another benefit of using birth control shot is the reduced risk of endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer.
- Birth control shot also reduces the symptoms of endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disease in females that occurs due to an overgrowth of cells from the lining of the uterus in other areas of the body. Some unavoidable side effects of this disorder are pain, irregular bleeding and infertility.
- Use of this contraceptive method alleviates the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
- Its use also curbs the risk of ectopic pregnancy. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilised egg implants in an area outside the uterus. It may stay in the ovary or implant in the abdomen.
- In women with seizure disorder, use of birth control shot reduces the frequency of seizures.
- In women with sickle cell anaemia (disease in which RBCs take an abnormal crescent shape), usage of birth control shot decreases the chances of sickle cell crisis.
- Birth control shots are appropriate to be used after a miscarriage or an abortion.
- Another important advantage of birth control shot is that it does not contain estrogens and therefore, breast-feeding women can also use it without fearing about any potent danger to their babies’ health.
- This birth control method reduces cramps and pain at the time of ovulation.
- It is a private form of contraception as one does not need to take the shot at home.
Disadvantages of Birth Control Shot
- The continuous use of the birth control shot for two or more years can lead to the occurrence of bone loss. This may not be completely reversible even after the stoppage of the shot. The risk of bone loss is highest during teenage as it is during this period that young women should be building bone mass.
- Women using birth control shot may often experience irregular spotting.
- They may also note slight weight gain.
- In some cases, fertility does not revert even after 6 to 8 months after stopping this contraceptive shot.
- This may decrease levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol and increase LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- Use of birth control shot does not protect against the risk of sexually transmitted infections such as HIV-AIDS.
- It may also increase the chances of Chlamydia or gonorrhoea infection among women, who are sexually exposed to these bacteria.
Birth control shot widely affects the menstruation cycle of a woman, but at the same, it is a highly effective contraceptive method. Before opting for birth control shot, it is better that you consult a doctor.
Read more articles on Contraception.