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Facts About...


What is it?

Depo-Provera® is a form of birth control that contains a hormone called progestin. Progestin prevents pregnancy by keeping eggs from leaving the ovaries and making cervical mucus thicker so sperm cannot get to the eggs. This hormone is injected into the arm or buttocks every 10 -12 weeks (4 times yearly) to prevent pregnancy.

How effective is it?

Depo-Provera® is 94% to 99.8% effective at preventing pregnancy when given every 10 -12 weeks.

What are the side effects associated with this method?

Irregular bleeding is the most common side effect, especially in the first 6 to 12 months of use. Other side effects may include: change in sex drive, headache, nausea, sore breasts, change in appetite or weight gain, mood changes and acne.

What are the benefits?

Depo-Provera® provides effective, long lasting pregnancy protection. It is a good choice for women who cannot take the hormone, estrogen, which is in many other types of birth control, like the pill, patch or ring. No or little bleeding and less cramping during your period may occur. It can also prevent cancer of the lining of the uterus.

What are the limitations?

Women who use Depo-Provera® may have temporary bone thinning. Bone growth begins again when women stop taking it. Talk with your health care provider about having regular bone density testing. You can help protect your bones by exercising regularly and getting extra calcium and vitamin D, either through the food you eat or from vitamin supplements.

What are the effects on breastfeeding?

This should not affect the amount or quality of breastmilk. If you are currently breastfeeding and would like to discuss birth control options, please follow up with your health care provider.

You should know…

Depo-Provera does not prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS; therefore condoms should always be used during sexual activity. If you are late in getting your injection (more than 12 weeks since the last one) you must ensure you use a backup method such as condoms to protect from pregnancy. Once Depo-Provera is stopped there may be a delay in return of ovulation, this may delay the ability to get pregnant by 9 – 10 months for some women.

July 29, 2014