What is it?
It is an injection of a hormone called progestogen every 11-12 weeks to prevent pregnancy.
How does it work?
Depo-Provera works by stopping the body producing an egg (ovulating) every month.
It also thickens the secretions around the opening of the womb (cervix) making it difficult for sperm to move through and reach an egg. It makes the lining of the womb thinner so it is less likely to accept a fertilised egg.
How effective is it?
If taken on time Depo-Provera is over 99% effective that means that out of 100 women using the injection less than 1 woman will get pregnant. Some prescribed medication may reduce its effectiveness and it must be given on time.
- If you remember to have Depo-Provera on time you don’t have to worry about contraception in between injections.
- You don’t have to remember to take a pill every day.
- It may give you some protection from cancer of the womb and pelvic inflammatory disease.
- You can use it if you cannot take the combination pill (due to oestrogen) for any reason.
- The pattern of your periods may change while you are on Depo-Provera injection and for some time after you stop. Your periods may stop altogether or may become irregular, heavier, more frequent or lighter. This is not dangerous in any way but may find it annoying.
- Some women find that their weight increased on Depo-Provera.
- Some women might get sore breasts, acne changes and bloating.
- The injection cannot be removed from the body once it is given so you may have to put up with side effects during the 12 weeks the Depo-Provera lasts and for sometime afterwards.
- It may take a few months (occasionally over a year for your periods and fertility to return to normal when you stop the injection.
- Using Depo-Provera may increase your risk developing osteoporosis (brittle bones) in especially when used in young people before the age of 19 years.
It does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections so we would always advise you to use condoms as wells.
Is Depo-Provera suitable for all women?
Depo-Provera is not suitable for all women. At the clinic we will take a detailed medical history to find out if this method is safe and suitable for you.
See link belwo for leafet on Depo-Porvera: