Depo-Provera Pros and Cons

Mar 30, 2010Updated 6 months ago

Depo-Provera Vaccine
Depo-Provera is a vaccine which is injected every three months. It contains a hormone which prevents pregnancy. Before making the decision to get the birth control shot, it is important to take the advantages and disadvantages into consideration. Although Depo-Provera may be an ideal method of birth control for some, but it also may not be suitable for others.

Depo-Provera Pros

The birth control shot is one of the most effective methods of contraception. According to Planned Parenthood, less than one out of 100 women will become pregnant while on Depo-Provera, as long as the directions are followed. This means being injected once every three months. This convenience is ideal for women who cannot remember to take a birth control pill every day.

In addition to being convenient and effective, Depo-Provera is also a very affordable method of the birth control. The price ranges from $35 and $75, according to Planned Parenthood. Women will need to pay for the birth control shot once every three months, rather than once a month for the birth control pill.

Depo-Provera does not contain estrogen, which is a hormone that is found in many birth control pills. Women who are breastfeeding are not able to have estrogen. Many women also claim to feel other side effects, such as a decrease in libido and weight gain, when they take birth control pills containing estrogen.

Another one of the advantages of the birth control shot is that it can also help reduce the risk of uterine cancer. This is the most common type of gynecological cancer that affects women.

Cons of the Birth Control Shot

Irregular bleeding and menstrual periods is one of the most common side effects and disadvantages of Depo-Provera. Although most women will experience shorter and lighter periods, many will also notice spotting in between. Some may also experience heavier and longer periods after going on the shot. Many women on the birth control shot stop having menstrual periods after one year.

Other side effects of Depo-Provera include a change in sex drive, change in appetite, weight gain, depression, nausea, headache, hair loss, increased body and facial hair, and tender breasts. Many of these side effects are also experienced by women who use other methods of contraception, such as the birth control pill.

When pregnancy does occur while a woman is on the birth control shot, she is more likely to experience an ecoptic pregnancy. This is also a common side effect of getting pregnant while on the Intrauterine Device (IUD). Ecoptic pregnancies can be fatal.

Women who use this birth control method may experience bone thinning. This side effect will stop after the woman stops taking Depo-Provera. It is a good idea to take calcium and vitamin D while on the birth control shot to help maintain bones and prevent bone loss.

When trying to decide on a birth control method, it is important to keep in mind that what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. It is ideal to weigh the pros and cons of Depo-Provera before making the decision to get it.


Planned Parenthood

The American Pregnancy Association