Depo-Provera is a birth control method that makes use of the long-acting progestin hormone. This hormone needs to be injected promptly in to the muscle every eleven weeks. The hormone will start acting as an effective contraceptive after twenty-four hours of injection. Depo-Provera slows down the secretion of those hormones that stimulate the ovaries. Thus ovulation gets effectively checked. The cervical mucus also gets thickened in order prevent the sperm from entering into the uterus.
Depo-Provera reduces the risk of accidental pregnancy to a minimal one per cent. But the golden word here is continuity. Only a continuous injection of hormone can yield the desired result. However, one disadvantage of this birth control method is that it does not guarantee any protection from sexually transmitted diseases. People with valvular heart disease opt for this birth control technique. After the first four injections, certain discomforts are likely to occur. These include sore breasts, nausea, fatigue, and abdominal irregularities. There are no major side effects to Depo-Provera at large. However, once injected the effect cannot be neutralised or reversed.
Prolonged use of Depo-Provera will result in drastic fall in bone density. It is advisable to use Depo-Provera only as a long-term birth control method, that too, if all other birth control methods are ruled out. People who have had a stroke or liver diseases should not opt for this birth-control method. People with a history of blood clots or breast cancer also should keep away from the hormone injection. Depo-Provera may worsen health problems such as migraine headaches, depression, heart disease, liver disease, asthma, diabetes and anorexia nervosa. It is recommended that women who take Depo-Provera injections should discard smoking.
Depo-Provera is associated with Amenorrhoea (not having periods). However, within three to ten months of stopping the injection, menstrual period will return to normal. Certain people, due to no evident reason, might be allergic to Depo-Provera. Such people should immediately break the injection schedule.