The 3-month Depo-Provera Shot, also known as DMPA or Depo
Medroxyprogesterone Acetate is a hormone injection that lasts for 3 months to prevent pregnancy. It contains synthetic progesterone and no estrogen so it may be indicated for the woman who cannot use or has a medical condition that contraindicates estrogen-containing methods. It is a long-term, high efficacy, non-coitus dependent, private contraceptive method that cannot be seen on the body and requires no home supplies. Depo-Provera may work by stopping the ovaries from releasing eggs. Depo-Provera causes the cervical mucus to thicken and changes the uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to enter or survive in the uterus. The first injection can be given any time in a woman’s cycle if it is reasonably certain the woman is not pregnant.
A pelvic exam is not required to start Depo-Provera. Special conditions that may contraindicate use of DMPA include osteoporosis and abnormal vaginal bleeding. Women are advised to take extra calcium when using Depo-Provera. Common side effects once a woman gets Depo-Provera often include irregular bleeding and eventual cessation of her period.
Depo-Provera is 97-99.7% effective as birth control. It does not protect against reproductive tract infections, including HIV/AIDS.