214 Family Planning
always cause changes
in the monthly
bleeding. You may
have light bleeding
every day or every
once in a while. You
will probably stop
bleeding by the end of
the first year. These
changes are normal.
Birth control injections
In this family planning method, a woman is given injections
of hormones every 1 to 3 months, usually at a health center
or family planning clinic, by someone who knows how. The
protection lasts until you need a new injection, and can be
used without others knowing.
Progestin-only injections, such as Depo Provera and Noristerat,
contain only the hormone progestin. These are especially good
for women who should not use estrogen (see pages 208 and
209). They are given every 2 to 3 months.
Women should not begin progestin-only injections if they
have any of the conditions listed on page 207, if they are
unable to get regular injections, or if they want to become
pregnant within the next year.
Common side effects of progestin-only injections:
Because of the large doses of progestin given with each
injection, women experience more changes in their monthly
bleeding during the first few months than with other hormonal
Other common side effects are:
• irregular bleeding or heavy spotting. If this is a problem,
a health worker can give 2 cycles of a combined low-dose
birth control pill to take along with the injections to stop
the spotting. Most irregular bleeding will stop after a few
• no monthly bleeding.
• weight gain.
Other injections, such as Cyclofem and Mesigyna, contain
both estrogen and progestin. This type of injection is good
for women who want to have regular monthly bleeding.
Combined injections are given every month, are more
expensive than progestin-only injections, and are harder to find.
Women who should not take combined birth control pills
or progestin-only injections should not take combined
injections either. Do not begin combined injections while
breastfeeding until your milk is coming in well.This usually
takes about 3 weeks.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012