Estrogen/Progestin Hormonal Injections 

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Hormonal injection

Mesigyna® (Norigynon, Mesigyna Instayect, Mesygest, and No 3 injectable Norigynon) and Cyclofem® (Lunelle, Cyclofemina, Feminena, Novafem, Lunella, and Cyclo-Provera) are two brand names of combination hormone injections. Cyclofem® and Mesigyna® injections contain synthetic (man-made) forms of the hormones estrogen and progestin (which your body makes). The hormones suppress your pituitary gland which stops your ovaries from releasing eggs. Without these eggs, pregnancy can’t happen. The injections also change the lining of your uterus and the mucus in your cervix. By changing your cervical mucus, the hormones make it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg. Estrogen-progestin hormonal injections are very effective in preventing pregnancy (see chart below).

Mesigyna® and similar brand names are approved in over 35 countries including (but not limited to) Latin America, the Caribbean, parts of Africa, Turkey and Asia. Cyclofem® is available in about 18 countries including Latin America, China, and Mexico. Neither product is available in the United States or Canada.

Out of 100 women using estrogen/progestin injections
Typical use: 6 women become pregnant pregnant_1pregnant_1pregnant_1pregnant_1pregnant_1pregnant_1
Perfect use: 1 or fewer women become pregnant icon representing less than one pregnant woman

How effective are Cyclofem® and Mesigyna® injections?

If women get Cyclofem® and Mesigyna® injections at the right time every month, they are more than 99% effective. This means that if 100 women get Cyclofem® or Mesigyna® injections at the right time, less than 1 woman will become pregnant in a year. However, if the injection is given too late, it becomes 94% effective.

Cyclofem® and Mesigyna® injections do not protect against sexually transmitted infections, so you need to use a condom to protect against STIs.

Are there any side effects of Cyclofem® or Mesigyna® injections?

There are possible side effects from Cyclofem® or Mesigyna® injections. They can be different for each woman.

They include:

  • Irregular bleeding (During the first year it is common to have longer periods of bleeding and/or spotting, decreases with each injection).
  • Loss of menstrual periods
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain (Most women do not gain weight, but those that do gain less than 5 pounds. You can help maintain your weight by eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.)
  • Breast pain
  • “Nervousness”
  • Blood clots (If you or family member have had a history of blood clots, inform your health care provider right away. Very rare, but serious)
If you get any of these side effects, you should speak with your health care provider.

How often and when should I get Cyclofem® injections?

The Cyclofem® and Mesigyna® injections give one-month protection against pregnancy. Therefore, you should get one injection every month to get the best protection. The injection should be given every 28-30 days. If there is more than 33 days between injections, the injections aren’t as effective. The first injection is given within 5 days of a normal menstrual period, within 7 days of stopping oral contraceptives, or 11-13 weeks after the last dose of Depo-Provera®.

Will I get my period while I’m getting Cyclofem® or Mesigyna® injections?

Some women have regular periods, others have irregular cycles (especially in the beginning), and some stop getting their menstrual periods altogether while getting Cyclofem® or Mesigyna® injections. It’s not a medical problem if you aren’t getting your period, it just means that your ovaries are resting and the lining in your uterus does not grow, so there is no menstrual bleeding. You will get your menstrual period back after you stop getting Cyclofem® or Mesigyna® injections.

Can any woman get Cyclofem® or Mesigyna® injections?

No. Cyclofem® cannot be used by women who:

  • Are pregnant
  • Have a liver problem or disease
  • Have blood clots or a history of blood clots
  • Have very high blood pressure
  • Have serious migraines headaches
  • Have certain kinds of heart disease

If you are interested in trying Cyclofem® or Mesigyna® and live in an area that has it, your health care provider will give you a check-up and ask you about your medical history and your family’s medical history. This way,  your HCP can find out if these injections are a good type of contraception for you.

What are the differences between Depo-Provera® and Cyclofem® or Mesigyna® injections?

The biggest difference is that Cyclofem® and Mesigyna® contains estrogen and progestin and Depo-Provera® only has progestin. You have to get a shot once every month with Cyclofem® and Mesigyna®, whereas only once every three months with Depo-Provera®. However, Cyclofem® and Mesigyna® cause less menstrual irregularities than Depo-Provera®. There are fewer reports of amenorrhea (not getting your menstrual period), infrequent bleeding, irregular bleeding, and extra-long menstrual bleeding in Cyclofem® and Mesigyna® users than in Depo-Provera® users. Also, fertility (being able to get pregnant) comes back quicker with Cyclofem® and Mesigyna® than with Depo-Provera®. Depo-Provera® may possibly cause a decrease in bone density, but it’s not a problem with Cyclofem® and Mesigyna®. Talk with your health care provider about which choice is best for you.