Women considering use of Depo-Provera should be encouraged NOT to if they will find it unacceptable if their periods change, because their periods WILL change. That’s 100%!
1. Depo-Provera injections each 3 months have the lowest continuation rates of any modern contraceptive. One year continuation rates: 23% (Westfull-1996); 42% (Polaneczky 1996), 56.1% (Trussell -20th ed. Contraceptive Technology, p. 50), 59.4% (Schwallie-1973).
2. Structured counseling has been shown to diminish discontinuation rates from Depo-Provera – induced bleeding problems. (Mexican study by Canto-DeCetina, 2001 Contraception).
Bleeding Problems Usual Counseling Structured Counseling
Amenorrhea 17% —> 3%
Irregular bleeding 10% —> 3%
Heavy bleeding 5% —> 2%
All bleeding problems 32% —> 8%
3. It is possible that a subcutaneous (SQ) Depo injection, which would facilitate women doing their own injections (self injection), might increase continuation rates of contraceptive injections. As it stands now Depo-Provera, 150mg each 3 months via deep intramuscular injections, requires more clinic visits than any modern contraceptive – 4 per year.
Robert A. Hatcher MD, MPH
Emeritus Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics
To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of Depo-Provera injections; go to: www.managingcontraception.com and click on Choices 2013 edition. You can also order this wonderful new educational book from our website or by calling 404-875-5001. Do you have your copy yet? It is now available in English and Spanish.
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Contraceptive Technology 20th Edition
Managing Contraception 2014-2015