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Frequently Asked Questions

Progestin-only Injectables

POI contraceptives contain the synthetic hormone progestin and are administered via deep intramuscular (IM) injection. These products include DMPA, Depo-Provera, Depo-Trust and NET-EN.

Yes. Injectables are safe and suitable for nearly all women including women who are breastfeeding, have or have not had children, women over 40 years old and even those who may just have had a miscarriage. Women who are
HIV positive can also safely use injectables. A woman can begin using injectables anytime of the month even when she is not having her monthly menses at the time, if it is reasonably certain she is not pregnant.

Yes. In the first few months, the client may experience lighter menstrual bleeding and fewer days of bleeding. After that, she may experience irregular, infrequent, prolonged or no monthly menstrual bleeding. Other possible side
effects may include headaches, dizziness, breast tenderness, and weight gain.

These side effects are not signs of illness. Most side effects usually become less or stop within the first few months of using the injectable. Most women do not have them. If any of these side effects bother you, consult a midwife, nurse or doctor.

Yes. POIs are a good choice for a breastfeeding mothers who want a hormonal method. POIs are safe for both the mother and the baby starting as early as 6 weeks after childbirth. They do not affect milk production.

No. Research on POIs finds that they do not disrupt an existing pregnancy. They should not be used to try to cause an abortion. They will not do so. Should injectables fail to prevent pregnancy, there will be no adverse effects on the pregnancy.

No. Good evidence from studies on other hormonal methods shows that progestin-only injectables will not cause
birth defects. The fetus will not be harmed if a woman become pregnant while using the injectable or accidentally starts the injectable when already pregnant.

No. The client should receive the injection every 3 months or 13 weeks for DMPA or can be given even up to 4 weeks late with no need for tests, evaluation or back-up method. The timing of injections should not be based on whether she is menstruating or not. It is recommended, however, that the client should return and can have the next injection up to 7 days late, as long as it is certain that she is not pregnant.

No. Injectables do not protect the woman against sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. She must use condoms for protection against these diseases.

No, not really. The great majority of injectable users do not report any such changes. Some women report that both their mood and sex drive improve because they are protected against an unwanted pregnancy. There is no evidence that progestin-only-injectables affect women’s sexual behavior.

No. There may be a delay in regaining fertility after stopping the injectable, but in time, the client will be able to become pregnant as before. Generally, fertility decreases as women get older. The menstrual pattern the client had before using the injectable generally returns a few months after the last injection although some women may have to wait longer. Even if the women’s regular menstrual period has not returned after stopping POI, it does not mean she
cannot get pregnant.

When the the woman stop using the injectable she may wait about a couple of months to become pregnant. Studies suggest that after the last injection a woman can become pregnant again within nine months on the average. She should not be worried if she do not become pregnant even as much as 12 months after stopping use. After stopping the injectable, the woman will ovulate before her monthly menses returns and can become pregnant.

These are common myths that says amenorrhea due to progestin-only injectables such as the Depo-Provera causes myoma uteri and other tumors, and that blood collects in the uterine cavity. These simply are not true and that there are no evidence that suggests otherwise.

Yes. The injectable is safe for women with varicose veins. Varicose veins are enlarged blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. They are not dangerous. They are not blood clots, nor are these veins the deep veins in the
legs where a blood clot can be dangerous (deep vein thrombosis) and would contraindicate the use of POI.

  • Prevention of unintended pregnancy and its risks
  • Reduced risk of cancer of the uterus if used long term
  • Possible protection against pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Reduced pelvic pain caused by endometriosis
  • Possible absence of periods
  • Possible relief of certain symptoms of sickle cell disease and seizure disorders
  • Possible decrease in bleeding associated with uterine fibroids
  • Does not interfere with sex or daily activities.
  • Does not affect the quantity and quality of the breastmilk among lactating women

A woman can have injectables in the following facilities:

  1. All city and municipal health centers provide injectable contraceptives for FREE.
  2. Government hospitals with family planning facilities.
  3. Private birthing homes or lying-in clinics.
  4. Private doctors and clinics.

Click HERE to search for Providers of “Injectables” located near you.

Source: “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Modern Family Planning Methods: Stop Rumors, Myths And Misconceptions with Correct Answers to Everyday Questions About Modern FP Method” by the Philippine DOH, USAID and JHPIEGO

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