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    Content 1-1

    Using crutches: Overview

    Crutches can help you walk when you have an injured hip, leg, knee, ankle, or foot. Your doctor will tell you how much weight—if any—you can put on your leg.

    Be sure your crutches fit you. When you stand up in your normal posture, there should be space for two or three fingers between the top of the crutch and your armpit. When you let your hands hang down, the hand grips should be at your wrists. When you put your hands on the hand grips, your elbows should be slightly bent.

    To stay safe when using crutches:

    • Look straight ahead, not down at your feet.
    • Clear away small rugs, cords, or anything else that could cause you to trip, slip, or fall.
    • Be very careful around pets and small children. They can get in your path when you least expect it.
    • Be sure the rubber tips on your crutches are clean and in good condition to help prevent slipping.
    • Avoid slick conditions, such as wet floors and snowy or icy driveways. In bad weather, be extra careful on curbs and steps.

    Content 1-2

How can you safely use shots for birth control?

How do you use the birth control shot?

  • If you get the shot within the first 7 days of starting your normal period, you are protected from pregnancy right away.
  • If you get the shot more than 7 days after your period starts, use back up birth control, such as a condom, or don't have intercourse for 7 days.
  • Talk to your doctor about a schedule to get the shot. You need the shot every 3 months. If you are late getting it, you’ll need backup birth control.

What if you miss or are late for a shot?

Always read the label for specific instructions, or call your doctor. Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Use backup birth control, such as a condom, or don’t have intercourse. Continue using one of these methods until 7 days after you get the missed or late shot.
  • If you had intercourse and you don't want to get pregnant, you can use emergency contraception. The most effective emergency contraception is an IUD (inserted by a doctor). You can also get emergency contraceptive pills. You can get them with a prescription from your doctor or without a prescription at most drugstores.

What else do you need to know?

  • The shot can have side effects.
    • You may have changes in your period and your period may stop. You may also have spotting or bleeding between periods.
    • You may have mood changes, less interest in sex, or weight gain.
  • The shot may cause bone loss. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using the shot.
  • Check with your doctor before you use any other medicines, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbal products, and supplements. Birth control hormones may not work as well to prevent pregnancy when combined with other medicines.
  • The shot doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as herpes or HIV/AIDS. If you’re not sure whether your sex partner might have an STI, use a condom to protect against infection.