Progestin-Only Hormonal Methods (Mini-Pills, Implants, and Shots)
Most side effects of the progestin-only birth control methods go away after the first few months of use. Side effects include:
- Irregular menstrual cycles.
- Spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods.
- Sore breasts.
- Bloating or weight gain, especially with the birth control shot.
- No menstrual periods. Although mini-pill use can stop periods, the shot is most likely to do so.
Less common progestin side effects include Reference depression Opens New Window and darkening of the skin on the upper lip, under the eyes, or on the forehead (chloasma).
Risks of the shot
Bone thinning. Use of the shot for 2 or more years can cause bone loss, which may not be fully reversible after stopping the medicine.Reference 3
For teens, bone loss from the shot is a concern. Teens are normally building bone mass as they grow. This is why it is very important for teens to get enough calcium and vitamin D when using the shot. A small study among teens showed that bone loss from the shot was reversed after the teens stopped getting the shots.Reference 4 Talk to your doctor about your risk if you have been using the shot for longer than 2 years.
Progestin risk after having gestational diabetes
Breast-feeding women can use the mini-pill or shot without worrying about effects on their milk supply or the baby. But using progestin-only birth control after having Reference gestational diabetes Opens New Window appears to make it more likely that you will develop Reference diabetes Opens New Window.Reference 1
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 3, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology