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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.


  • Convenient — injection once every 3 months
  • Private – no one can tell you are using it
  • Doesn’t need to be taken daily or put in before sex
  • Women who cannot take estrogen can take it
  • May reduce menstrual cramps and anemia
  • Protects against endometrial and ovarian cancers
  • Can be used while breast feeding
  • Does not have interactions with antibiotics or seizure medications

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).

Bone Density
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 ( ) for more information.

Side Effects

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

  • Increased appetite
  • Headache
  • Sore breasts
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Acne, rashes, or spotty darkening of skin
  • Hair loss
  • Increased facial or body hair
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Increased or decreased sex drive

Women with the following conditions should not use Depo-Provera®

  • Pregnant
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Serious liver disease or liver growths
  • Has had a heart attack or stroke
  • Has had or suspects breast or cervical cancer
  • Taking Cytadren for treatment for Cushings syndrome
  • Severe high blood pressure
  • Diabetes for more than 20 years
  • Diabetes complicated by vascular disease
  • Known allergy to medroxyprogesterone acetate

For Further Information
Visit the Depo-Provera® web site:



Ohio local:



1(800) 672-6810

Abortion Care Options

Women’s Med provides abortions in Dayton, Ohio  through 22 weeks in pregnancy.

Indiana Patients: Abortion is currently banned in Indiana except in hospitals.

Please call our Dayton office for an appointment.