Long-Acting Hormonal Methods

Lunelle Monthly Contraceptive Injection

Average Annual Failure Rate: 3%

Lunelle Monthly Contraceptive Injection is a highly-effective hormonal birth control method administered by a doctor once a month. Like combined oral contraceptive pills, Lunelle consists of two synthetic female hormones (medroxyprogesterone acetate and estradiol cypionate), except that the hormones are in an injectable suspension instead of a tablet.

Lunelle, marketed abroad as Cyclofem, is not currently available to the general public in the US or Canada, although it is currently used in other countries. Although Lunelle was approved by the FDA in 2000, it was taken off the market in 2002 following a voluntary recall from the manufacturers (Pharmacia) who claimed that the syringes did not contain enough of the drug to prevent pregnancy.

How Lunelle Contraceptive Injection Works

Lunelle works as birth control in the same way as other combination hormonal contraceptives, like the pill, vaginal ring, and the patch. The drug prevents ovulation so that no sperm can fertilize an egg, and it thins the lining of the uterus so that an embryo cannot implant as an additional post-fertilization mechanism.

Side-Effects of Lunelle Contraceptive Injection

The most frequent side-effects reported by users of Lunelle were weight gain,
irregular menstrual bleeding, vaginal infections, lack of periods, mood swings, acne, breast
tenderness or pain, headache, nausea, and depression. Other side effects may include loss of sex drive (libido), unwanted hair growth, and pre-menstrual syndrome.

Health Risks of Lunelle Contraceptive Injection

Oral contraceptives also have some uncommon but serious health risks associated with their use, especially among smokers, and it is thought that the same risks apply to Lunelle. These include abnormal blood clotting and heart attacks, certain cancers, and gallbladder disease. Current research indicates that oral contraceptives and Depo-Provera increase the risk of acquiring HIV and other STDs from an infected partner, so the same may also be true of Lunelle.

Dive Deeper

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