Providing 2-3 months of contraceptive protection


Home      Services      Contraception and family planning      Injectable

An effective long-acting reversible method of contraception

An injectable contains a hormone that is injected into the body that stops eggs being released.

Injectables are a very effective method of contraception when used correctly, shown to be 20 times more effective than short term contraceptive methods, such as the pill. You must make sure to return for an injection every 2-3 months, otherwise you risk the chance of becoming pregnant.


99% – If one hundred women used an injectable for a year and carried on with their normal sex life then only one of those women would fall pregnant during that period.


Injectables are available at all of our Centres locations and outreach teams.

Injectable advantages

Injectables offer a number of advantages as a long-acting, reversible method of contraception.

  • The procedure is very quick and painless
  • Provide up to 12 weeks of very effective contraception
  • May help with heavy periods.

Things to consider

When deciding if an injectable is right for you, here are a few quick facts you should consider:

  • Some women may find they have spotting and bleeding for the first few weeks, but this usually settles down
  • Periods may stop, but this is nothing to worry about
  • Fertility may take up to a year to return after stopping
  • Will not protect from STI/HIV
  • As it is an injection, if you have any symptoms, such as bleeding, you cannot reverse this method immediately.

How an injectable works

The injection is usually administered in the arm, thigh or buttock by a trained provider.

It only takes a few minutes to have the injection.  It can take up to 7 days before the injection starts to work if you have not previously used a contraceptive injectable. You can use a condom for those 7 days.

Depending on the type of injectable given, another injection will be required in 2-3 months times to continue being an effective contraceptive method.


Looking for more information about injectables?

Try visiting our frequently asked questions.

Post-abortion care

If you’ve recently had post-abortion care, you can have an injectable following your treatment. It will be given to you during your treatment and will work straight away. It will then last a further 12 weeks before another injection is required.

If you have your first injectable on day 1 to 5 of a period, it will work straight away. At any other time, extra precautions, such as condoms or abstaining from sex will be required for 7 days. 

You may need to use protection for 7 days after your first injectable to prevent pregnancy.