Depo Provera is a hormonal substance (Progestin) that prevents ovulation (egg production) in a woman from occurring for 12 weeks.
- Intramuscular (into the muscle) injection into either the upper arm or buttocks
- Failure rate less than 1 pregnancy per 100 women per year with injections 12 weeks apart and first injection is in the first five days of your period
- Reversible form of birth control. Most woman can obtain pregnancy within a year of discontinuing Depo Provera
- Does NOT protect from Sexually Transmitted Diseases (including HIV/AIDS). PLEASE also use condoms!!
Why You May Not Be Able to Use Depo Provera
- Known or suspected pregnancy
- Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
- Known or suspected breast cancer
- Active blood clots or current or past history of clot disorders in the legs, lungs, or eyes: or if you have had a stroke
- Liver disfunction or disease (recent mono, hepatitis, growth)
- Known sensitivity to Depo Provera or to any of its ingredients. Have you ever had an allergic reaction to local anesthetic at the dentist?
Possible Side Effects
- Weight gain. Average is 5 pounds, increases your appetite.
- Menstrual irregularity- usually spotting. Possibly no periods by second or third injection.
- Abdominal Bloating
- Breast tenderness
- Tiredness, weakness
- Depression, nervousness
- No hair growth or loss or thinning of hair
- Skin rash or increased acne
- Increase or decrease in sex drive
Severe Side Effects that require emergent care (ER)
- Sharp chest pain, coughing of blood, sudden shortness of breath
- Sudden severe headache, vomiting, dizziness, or fainting
- Visual disturbance (double vision, blurred vision, spots before your eyes)
- Speech disturbance (slurred or unable to speak)
- Weakness or numbness in arm or leg
- Severe pain or swelling in calf or leg
- Unusually heavy vaginal bleeding (unlike usual periods)
- Severe pain or tenderness in lower abdomen or pelvis
Steps to Take to Begin or Continue Depo Provera
- Have a well woman exam including PAP, pelvic, and breast exams
- First injection should be in the first five days of your period (you will want to have your PAP prior to this)
- Continuing injections are every 12 weeks
- Pregnancy testing is required prior to every injection