The birth control shot is a long-acting form of progesterone, a hormone that is naturally manufactured in a girl's ovaries. The shot is given as an injection in the upper arm or in the buttocks once every 3 months to protect a girl from becoming pregnant.

Birth Control Shot
  • A shot in the arm that prevents pregnancy
  • Safe, effective, and convenient
  • Easy to get with a prescription
  • Lasts for three months
  • Costs $35–$75 per injection, plus any exam fees

What Are the Benefits of the Birth Control Shot?
  • Using the birth control shot is safe, simple, and convenient.
  • The shot provides very effective, long-lasting pregnancy protection.
  • There is no daily pill to remember.

How Does It Work?
The hormone progesterone in the birth control shot primarily works by preventing ovulation (the release of an egg during the monthly cycle). If a girl doesn't ovulate, she cannot get pregnant because there is no egg to be fertilized.

How Well Does It Work?
The birth control shot is a very effective method of birth control. Over the course of 1 year, fewer than 3 out of 100 typical couples who use the birth control shot every 3 months will have an accidental pregnancy. The chance of getting pregnant increases if you wait longer than 3 months to receive your next shot.
In general, how well each type of birth control method works depends on a lot of things. These include whether a person has any health conditions or is taking any medications that might interfere with its use. It also depends on whether the method chosen is convenient — and whether the person remembers to use it correctly all of the time

Possible Side Effects
Many young women who receive the birth control shot will notice a change in their periods. Other possible side effects include:
  • irregular or no menstrual periods
  • weight gain, headaches, and breast tenderness
  • depression

Birth Control Shot
Accent Women's Health | Resources | Birth Control