Injectable contraceptive

Providing one to three months of protection from unplanned pregnancies


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An effective, long-acting and reversible method of family planning

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

There are two types of injectable contraception. One can prevent pregnancy for one month, and the other for three months.

Injectables are a very effective method of family planning when used correctly, shown to be 20 times more effective than short term contraceptive methods, such as the pill.


97%. If one hundred women used the injectable for a year, then 97 of those women would not fall pregnant during that time.

Some women find it difficult to get the injection on time, which can increase the risk of unplanned pregnancy.


At the Family Health Clinic in Dili and through outreach teams in the municipalities where we work.


Free through outreach, and at a small cost at the Family Health Clinic.

Call the Family Health Clinic on 3322 841 for more information on price.

Injectable advantages

Injectables offer several advantages as a long-acting, reversible method of family planning.

  • Procedure is very quick and painless.
  • Can 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 STIs or HIV.
  • As it is an injection, if you have any symptoms, such as bleeding, you cannot reverse this method immediately.

If you are still unsure whether an injectable is suited to you, take a look at our online contraception tool – Choice. The website uses a simple questionnaire to provide you with clear, tailored advice on your contraceptive options.

“The injectable is a safe, quick and easy option for women who want effective protection from unplanned pregnancy.”

Service provider

How an injectable works

Injectable methods of family planning are an injection into a woman’s arm, thigh or buttock to prevent unplanned pregnancy.

There are two types of injectable methods. One can prevent pregnancy for one month, and the other for three months.

The injectable is a safe and effective method of contraceptive that is usually injected into the arm by a trained professional. It uses a hormone, like those naturally produced by a woman’s body, to prevent pregnancy. After one or three months, depending on the type you use, you will need another injection to continue to be protected. It is important to get the injection on time.

It can take up to seven days before the injection starts to work. You can use a condom or abstinence for those seven days. When you stop using the injection, it usually takes between six months to a year for your normal fertility to return.

Injectable aftercare advice

If you have your first injectable on day one to five 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 seven days. 

You may need to use condoms or abstinence for seven days after your first injectable to prevent pregnancy.