Depo-Provera is a contraceptive injection made up of medroxyprogesterone (a form of progesterone). We have the brand name Depo-Provera available in 150mg/ml bottles or the Depo-Provera pre-filled syringes also in 150mg/ml.
The Depo-Provera is an injection given to females who want to avoid pregnancy or for females who want to control their severe cramping and menstrual pain which is usually caused by endometriosis. This medication is not meant to protect you against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases and should not be the only form of birth control; use a condom to help protect against STDs.
Medroxyprogesterone helps avoid pregnancy by preventing the development and discharge of an egg (ovulation) when you are on your menstrual cycle. It also causes the vaginal fluids to thicken up to make it harder for sperm to reach an egg (fertilization) and changes the lining of the womb (uterus) to prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to it.
Medroxyprogesterone works to treat endometriosis by reducing the amount of certain hormones in the body and reducing the growth of abnormal tissues, which causes the pain and following symptoms of endometriosis.
The Depo-Provera shot is usually injected by a healthcare professional but can be done at home. If you are doing the injection yourself, be sure to follow your doctor’s directions very carefully.
This injection is usually injected into a muscle in the upper arm but can also be injected into the buttocks. This is done once every 3 months.
The first injection is usually given to the patient a few days following her menstrual cycle. This is to ensure the patient is not pregnant before receiving Depo-Provera.
If you are injecting at home; inspect your medication carefully for particles or discoloration, do not use the product if either are present.
This medication is most effective if it is used regularly every 3 months.
Medroxyprogesterone can cause osteoporosis (bone loss) when used for a long time. This may be irreversible; consider switching birth controls after 2 years. This is more likely to occur in those who have already experienced menopause.
There are a few conditions in which you should NOT take Depo-Provera which includes; undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, liver disease, breast cancer, if you are pregnant, or if you have ever had a stroke or blood clot.
If you become pregnant while on Depo-Provera (which is possible in rare cases), tell your doctor right away. It may also not be safe to breast feed while on Depo-Provera; mention to your doctor if you are breastfeeding.
When you get the injection, your body may react to the new hormones that are now in your body; you may experience spotting (abnormal vaginal bleeding) while your body adjusts to this medication.
This medication may cause depression in some people; the risk is higher if you have previously suffered from depression. Monitor yourself for depression signs and have someone else keep an eye on you as well.
Smoking cigarettes can increase your chance of blood clots; blood clots can become deadly if they are not treated. Watch for signs of blood clots while taking this medication.
It is also recommended you tell your doctor about any of the following if they apply to you;
light or irregular menstrual periods; risk factors for osteoporosis (such as low bone mineral density, a family history of osteoporosis, drinking large amounts of alcohol, or if you smoke); a breast lump, an abnormal mammogram, or bleeding from your nipples; kidney disease; high blood pressure; breast cancer (in you or a family member); diabetes; depression, or an eating disorder; seizures; asthma; or migraine headaches.
Common side effects of Depo-Provera/medroxyprogesterone may include:
changes in your menstrual periods; swelling, weight gain; headache; or lumps or dimpling in your skin where injections were given.
The above side effects should not alarm you.
Serious side effects of Depo-Provera/medroxyprogesterone may include:
menstrual periods that are heavier or longer than normal; severe pain in your lower stomach; swelling in your face, or your hands, ankles, and feet; pain, bleeding, oozing (pus), or skin changes where the injection was given;
If you have any of the above side effects, contact your doctor right away.
Signs to watch for:
depression - sleep problems, weakness, mood changes.
liver problems - upper stomach pain, itching, tiredness, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
blood clot - sudden numbness or weakness, severe headache, chest pain, sudden cough, coughing up blood; problems with vision or speech, swelling or pain in an arm or leg.
How can I remember to stay on top of my Depo-Provera shot?
To ensure you do not miss a dose, you can use specific birth control reminder apps, you can write it on a calendar or your phones calendar, or politely ask if a friend or family member can remind you when the time comes.
Who should use the Depo-Provera injection?
Any female who either is sexually active and does not want to get pregnant, has depilating menstrual cramps and pains or endometriosis, has troubles remembering to take a birth control pill every day, or if you want or need to avoid taking estrogen.
How effective is Depo-Provera?
Only 3 in 1,000 females get pregnant while on Depo-Provera, that is less than 1%, when used correctly. It is extremely effective.
How long have people been using Depo-Provera as a contraceptive?
The FDA approved Depo-Provera in 1992 and has become one of the most popular forms of birth control today.
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