The injectable hormone preparation has been in use for over 30 years. It is given as a deep intra muscular injection every 3 months and is almost 99.7% effective.

Common side effects are irregular bleeding, weight gain and headache. After the last injection, ovulation may take a long time to re-establish.

Another available long acting Progestin is Norplant™ (you must have read about the controversy in Indian newspapers). It consists of 6 small silastic capsules which are implanted under the skin. The insertion (and the removal as well) requires a minor surgical procedure under local anesthesia. Norplant is effective for five (5) years with first year being almost 99.8% effective. Even though the effectiveness drops after in succeeding years, even the last year is better than the combination OC pill.

Common side effects include weight gain, acne, headache and most importantly irregular bleeding and spotting, the last being main cause of early removal.

The use of Norplant in India is marred with controversies with NGOs waging a ongoing battle. Your doctor knows BEST!
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