WomensChoice.com

Home


Depo-Provera
What is Depo-Provera?
Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate) is a drug very similar to progesterone, a hormone normally produced by the ovaries every month as part of the menstrual cycle. Depo-Provera is an injectable medicine that prevents pregnancy for up to 3 months with each injection ("shot").
How does it work?
Depo-Provera prevents pregnancy by preventing ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary). If an egg is not released, pregnancy is unlikely. Depo-Provera is given as 1 shot in the buttock or upper arm. The first shot should be given within 5 days after the beginning of a normal menstrual period, and shots should be repeated every 3 months.
Is it effective?
Depo-Provera is as effective as tubal ligation (having your tubes tied) and more effective at preventing pregnancy than several other methods, including birth control pills, condoms and diaphragms. It does not, however, protect against AIDS or any other sexually transmitted diseases.
 
Are there side effects?
Most women have some changes in their menstrual periods while using Depo-Provera, including irregular and unpredictable bleeding or spotting, an increase or decrease in menstrual bleeding, or no bleeding at all. After 1 year of use, about 50% of women have no bleeding at all. The absence of periods is not harmful, and periods usually return to normal after Depo-Provera is stopped. If unusually heavy or continuous bleeding occurs, you should return to our office. Other possible side effects include weight gain, headaches, nervousness, abdominal discomfort, dizziness and weakness or fatigue.
 

Copyright Womenschoice 2010