It may be highly effective but it also very controversial so here is all you need to know about the reasons, risks and effects of Depo Provera
Depo Provera works by thickening the cervical mucus. When the mucus on the cervix is thicker, the sperm can’t get through. And when the sperm and the egg can’t get together, pregnancy cannot occur.
To get the shot’s full birth control powers, you have to remember to get a new shot every 3 months, or 4 times a year. Most of the time, a doctor or a nurse must give you the shot. It’s helpful to use a birth control app to help you keep track of when you need to get your next shot, and any upcoming shot appointments.
You can start using the birth control shot whenever you want. If you get your first shot within the first 7 days after the start of your period, you’re protected from pregnancy right away. If you get it at any other time in your cycle, you must use another form of birth control for the first week after getting the shot.
After your first shot, it’s all about remembering when to get your follow-up shots.
Depo-Provera is used to prevent pregnancy and your doctor might suggest Depo-Provera based off of the following:
You don’t want to take a birth control pill every day
You want or need to avoid using oestrogen
You have health problems such as anaemia, seizures, sickle cell disease, endometriosis or uterine fibroids
The benefits of Depo-Provera include:
Doesn’t require daily action
Eliminates the need to interrupt sex for contraception
Decreases menstrual cramps and pain
Lessens menstrual blood flow, and in some cases stops menstruation
Decreases the risk of endometrial cancer
You might have a delay in your return to fertility. After stopping Depo-Provera, it might take 10 months or more before you begin ovulating again. If you want to become pregnant in the next year or so, Depo-Provera might not be the right birth control method for you.
Depo-Provera doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections. In fact, some studies suggest that hormonal contraceptives such as Depo-Provera might increase a woman’s risk of chlamydia and HIV. It isn’t known whether this association is due to the hormone or behavioural issues related to the use of reliable contraception.
It might affect bone mineral density. Research has suggested that Depo-Provera and Depo-SubQ Provera 104 might cause a loss of bone mineral density. This loss might be especially concerning in teens who haven’t reached their peak bone mass. And it’s not clear whether this loss is reversible.
If you have other risk factors for osteoporosis, such as a family history of bone loss and certain eating disorders, it’s a good idea to discuss the potential risks and benefits of this form of contraception with your doctor, as well as learn about other contraceptive options.
Other side effects of Depo-Provera usually decrease or stop within the first few months. They might include:
Decreased interest in sex
Irregular periods and breakthrough bleeding
Weakness and fatigue
Consult your doctor as soon as possible if you have:
Heavy bleeding or concerns about your bleeding patterns
Pus, prolonged pain, redness, itching or bleeding at the injection site
Severe lower abdominal pain
A serious allergic reaction
Other symptoms that concern you
Many experts believe progestin-only contraceptive methods, such as Depo-Provera, carry significantly lower risks of these types of complications than do contraceptive methods that contain both estrogen and progestin.