Family Health Guide

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Birth Control: Shot

Do you really love your OB and have no fear of needles? Depo Provera, depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), is a progestin contraceptive shot that lasts for 3 months. You need to visit the doctor's office every 12 weeks for a new injection. It works by preventing ovulation, thickening cervical mucus and thinning the lining of the uterus. Depo Provera is one of the most effective methods of birth control and is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. A woman cannot become pregnant for at least 10 months after stopping the shots.

It's a good option for women who are breastfeeding and those who have health issues such as diabetes with complications, high blood pressure or migraines with auras for which estrogen can increase the risk of blood clots, leading to a heart attack or stroke. Some women have irregular bleeding while many stop bleeding altogether. Less than 5% of women also reported longer, heavier periods, excessive hair growth or loss, and weight gain are also complaints. Others experience a decrease in bone density that is completely reversible once the shots are stopped. [U1] 

 [U1]Some women also experience depression/moodiness. Women who have experienced depression in the past/are on antidepressants should discuss with their doc.