Depo Provera® is an artificial hormone that is injected into the arm or upper thigh every 3 months. It is slowly released into the bloodstream. Depo Provera® does not stop you getting an STI so it's important to use condoms.
Depo Provera® prevents pregnancy in 3 ways, it:
- temporarily prevents ovulation (an egg from being released from the ovaries every month).
- temporarily thins the lining of the womb (uterus) to prevent a fertilised egg from attaching to it.
- thickens the discharge (fluid) from the cervix to help stop sperm from reaching the womb (uterus).
Depo Provera® is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
- Injections are only required once every 3 months.
- Very effective.
- Does not protect against STIs – protection like condoms must be used.
- Can disrupt the menstrual pattern, which can causes irregular periods and spotting through the cycle.
- Can't be reversed, so you have to wait until the injection wears off (3 months)
- Can cause depletion of calcium from bone, so it's recommended that you take eat a calcium-rich diet, do weight-bearing exercise and avoid smoking.
You can get Depo Provera from your doctor or sexual health clinic.