Shot / Depo-Provera®

The shot is just what it sounds like—a shot that reduces the risk of getting pregnant. Its effect lasts for three months. It is the best hormonal choice for those who can’t take estrogen.


The shot is very effective (96%) —as long as you get each shot on time every 3 months.  This means that statistically 4 out of every 100 users will get pregnant using this method in the first year (Cason P, Cwiak C, Edelman A, et al. Contraceptive Technology, 22nd Edition. Burlington MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2023).


This method costs about $25 a month—about the same as the pill.

  • With Medicaid: Free
  • With insurance: Usually the cost of the co-pay
  • Without insurance: $75 + $19 urine pregnancy test before initial injection (clinic)


An injection is given at the doctor or clinic every three months. It’s really important to get shots on time.

Side effects

Some women will experience a change in appetite leading to weight gain. Other side effects include: depression, hair loss or more hair on your face or body, nervousness or dizziness, headache, nausea, sore breasts. Rare allergic reactions. May avoid some of the dangers of combined hormonal therapies (blood clots).

Picture of a shot and medicine

effective (Cason, et al., 2023)