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Depo-Provera® is a long-acting hormonal form of birth control. It contains medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), which is similar to the natural progesterone produced by the ovaries during the second half of the menstrual cycle. It is given by injection (shot) in the buttock or upper arm muscle. Injections must be received on a regular basis every 12-13 weeks.
How Does It Work?
Depo-Provera® works because it prevents the release of an egg from the ovary; thus there is nothing to be fertilized by the sperm and a pregnancy cannot occur. Cervical mucus is thickened and it also thins the lining of the uterus, which would make the uterus less hospitable to a fertilized egg should ovulation occur.
Depo-Provera® is one of the most effective reversible methods of birth control. Of every 1,000 women who use Depo-Provera®, only 3 will become pregnant during the first year. It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. Condoms can reduce the risk of infection.
As with all medicines, there may be some side effects for some women. It is important to consider that the side effects will last until the medication wears off (12-18 weeks).
Women who use Depo-Provera® may lose significant bone mineral density which increases with longer use. This may increase the risk of fractures later in life. Please visit the Depo-Provera® website (http://www.depoprovera.com ) for more information.
The most common side effect is Irregular menstrual bleeding with fewer and lighter periods during the first 6 to 12 months. However, approximately half of women will stop having periods after using Depo-Provera® for a year. For a few women, periods may become heavier and longer.
Depo-Provera® users experience increased appetite with an average weight gain of 5 pounds the first year.
It may take a year for periods to resume after discontinuing the use of Depo-Provera®. It can take 3 to 18 months to become pregnant after stopping Depo-Provera®.
Less Common Side effects
Women with the following conditions should not use Depo-Provera®
For Further Information
Visit the Depo-Provera® web site: http://www.depoprovera.com