Depo-Provera is a synthetic hormone which acts like the female hormone progesterone. It prevents pregnancy by stopping the egg from being released from a woman's ovaries. It also causes cervical mucus to thicken making it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. Depo-Provera is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
Depo-Provera is administered every three months by injection into a woman's arm or buttocks. A woman can stop receiving the injection at any time, with decreased fertility only in the first 12-18 months after stopping. Depo-Provera can be taken at any age.
Women taking Depo-Povera may experience changes in menstrual flow such as heavy bleeding, irregular bleeding or no bleeding. Some women may also experience side effects such as:
- Weight gain
- Breast tenderness
Women who have had a history of liver disease or blood clots cannot take Depo-Provera, nor can a woman with breast cancer.