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Depo-provera is a contraceptive injection of 150 milligrams of medroxyprogesterone acetate and is 99.7% effective. 

How is the injection given?

Preferably it is given in the buttock for more comfort since the arm can have more discomfort.

How often do you need an injection?

Every 11-13 weeks to maintain effectiveness.  Your health care provider will tell you the week you are due and it is a good idea to schedule follow-up before leaving the office.

When should a woman get the injection and when is it effective?

During the first five days of her menses and it is effective immediately.

How does it work?

Depo-provera works by stopping the release of eggs from your ovaries and not allowing pregnancy to occur. 

What are some of the side effects?

The most common side effects include unpredictable bleeding and weight gain.  Other side effects include lack of menses, irritability, abdominal pain/cramping, headaches and depressed mood.  Bone loss has been associated with long-term use and should be considered when using.

What is the reversibility?

It takes on average at least 8-10 months for menses to start after discontinuation. 

Additional information available at www.depo-provera.com.

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Asela C. Russell, MD
Leslie T. Scariano, MD
Grace M. Holub, MD
Heather Fitzler, MD

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