Depo-Provera is a progestin-only injectable form of birth control given by your health care provider every 3 months. It is injected into either your upper arm or buttocks. The next injection should be scheduled in 12 weeks-this gives you a week or two of flexibility if you are unable to keep that appointment.
It prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary). It thickens the mucus around the cervix preventing sperm from entering the cervix and alters the lining of the womb to inhibit implantation of the pregnancy.
Depo-Provera is more than 99% effective. Of every 1,000 women who use this method, 3 will become pregnant during first year of use. This is one of the most effective forms of birth control.
Depo-Provera is worth considering if you want long term contraception without following a daily routine. Since protection is maintained from a injection every 3 months, it allows for sexual spontaneity. It may also be a good choice for you if you cannot remember take a pill everyday or if you cannot use birth control containing estrogen (i.e. you are over 35 and a smoker or have a history of blood clots. ) It is also a good choice if you do NOT plan to become pregnant in the near future and want a reliable form of birth control other than the pill. The injection does not protect from sexually transmitted diseases particularly HIV. If this is a concern you should use a condom as well.
Most women of any age needing birth control can use Depo-Provera. A woman should not use the injection if she has history of:
* The final decision is between you and your doctor.
Delay in the Return of Your Period:
No Immediate Discontinuation:
Reversible Loss of Bone Mass:
We will only give you the Depo-Provera within 5 days of the start of your menstrual period. This ensures that you are NOT pregnant when you receive the injection and it will be effective immediately. Before you get each injection, we will check that you have a negative urine pregnancy test.
Another time to start this method is after the end of a pregnancy; either at the time of termination of pregnancy or within 5 days postpartum if NOT breastfeeding. If you plan to breastfeed, Depo-Provera is a safe method of birth control, but we recommend waiting until 6 weeks postpartum when the milk supply is fully established. If you initiate Depo-Provera after the birth of a child, keep in mind the delay in return of your menstrual cycle. If you are planning to have another baby within the next year or so, you may want to select a different form of birth control.
If you are late for your Depo-Provera, we want to make sure that you are NOT pregnant. However, now we need to do a blood pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant. This is much more sensitive test than a urine test. The blood test usually takes one day for results. If negative, you could return the next day for your injection but you should use condoms as a backup method for the next two weeks.
Call your doctor if you have any of the following problems: