Student Health Services

Hormonal Injection (Depo-Provera)

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How Does it Work?

A hormone is injected that prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs. It also thickens the cervical mucus, which also keeps sperm from joining with an egg.

How Well Does it Work?

Depo-Provera is one of the most effective, reversible contraceptives. If administered correctly, the effectiveness rate is 99.997%. Depo-Provera does not offer any protection against STDs.

What are the Advantages?

  • Convenient
  • Each dose prevents pregnancy for 12 weeks
  • Reduces menstrual cramps
  • Offers protection against ovarian cysts
  • Offers protection against endometrial cancer
  • Does not need to be taken daily

Who Should Not Use Depo-Provera?

  • Women who may try to get pregnant within a year
  • Women who cannot put up with irregular bleeding
  • Women who have serious liver disease

What Are Some Common Side Effects?

  • Irregular intervals between periods
  • Longer menstrual flow
  • Spotting between periods
  • No bleeding for months at a time

Less common side effects include weight gain, sore breasts, headache, depression, dizziness, skin rashes, vaginal dryness and an increase or decrease in sex drive.

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