This is great for people who don't want to be tied down with taking a pill at the same time every day, but:

It isn't as physiological (some have spotting; no period every N days)
It of course doesn't protect you from whatever STDs your partner(s) might have (including HPV, which causes cervical cancer).

Towards that end, see condom, dental dam, and masturbation.

Depo-Provera: the trade name of the hormone, medroxyprogesterone acetate, manufactured by Upjohn in the United States. The hormone is progestinic and antiandrogenic. It has several clinical applications, one of which is to help sex offenders gain personal governance of their sexuoerotic conduct. See also Androcur; cyproterone; medroxyprogesterone acetate.

Dictionary of Sexology Project: Main Index

Danny was a busybody. She needed to know everything. She read every text that entered the house. She carried armloads of books with her wherever she went, an eccentric security blanket for a six year old. While Mommy studied Stats & Criminology, Danny would vanish into University Library to wait. Someday's she'd creep into a lecture hall and listen from the back row. Mommy often brought home case studies on Criminal behavior and socialization methods for her youngest daughter to read. Sometimes they would "chat" or debate about how nice it would be if Daddy was involved in one experiment or another. Depo-Provera: AKA medroxyprogesterone acetate, that was a favorite.

Depo-Provera was commonly used upon criminals prone to sexual misconduct. The hormone rendered their erect penises limp, therefore "ensuring" that the convict would no longer be capable of abusing their victims in that manner. Using this drug on individuals without their consent had a negative implication, criminal or not. Although most commonly used on males in the past - the use of Depo-Provera has shifted to the opposite sex.

When her big sister, Gina, was a dancer the other dancing girls suggested Depo shots to her. Since then, every 12 weeks she fills her prescription and then visits her doctor for her shot in the bum. Every 12 weeks, she calls her little sister and tells her how wonderful a form of birth control this is. No cramps. No Bloating. No Bitchiness. No Blood. Like clockwork, Danny says "no". It is not for her. Throughout six years, the conversation tends to repeat.

As a 99% effective form of birth control, Depo-Provera is administered by a intra-muscular shot once every three months. This eliminates the confusion felt by women who have difficulty taking a pill at the same time every day. Many women who use it find that it eliminates most typical symptoms of menstruation. They no longer experience their periods every 28 days. Instead they may have one every few months, or not at all.

Like Clockwork: The phone rings. Danny hears the words, "I'm just leaving the Doctor's office." This time the conversation changes. Garbled words, muffled by tears. "I quit the Depo a year and a half ago. We were keeping it a secret until... We've been trying for a baby but the Doctors think it's too late."

  • Common known side effects are:
  • Moodiness
  • Bloating & / or Extreme weight gain
  • Acne, regardless of age
  • Profuse BLEEDING that may last a random and indeterminate length of time (several days / weeks / months)
  • The possibility exists that your body may remain unable to conceive once you cease use of Depo-Provera

Unknown side effects are: UNKNOWN

This is the first description of the side effects for Depo Provera I have ever seen.
I went on Depo when it was first being used as a contraceptive for the general population in Australia. Depo has been around for various uses for a long time. So when I went on it, they were emphatic about the long term contraceptive effect of the drug, but they knew little else about the effects of the drug in 1995 for this use.
I had a couple of interviews that went a lot like this:

Medical Expert: Now you realise, Proquar, that you may not be able to fall pregnant for five years after this injection? We cannot reverse that.

Proquar: That’s ok. But it will be effective, you can guarantee no pregnancy for three months. And I won’t get periods during that time?

And I didn’t. I didn’t get pregnant, I didn’t get periods. I did get extremely moody - including 48 hours of being horny as hell after each injection, I did put on incredible amounts of weight and my usually low-ish blood pressure, went up significantly.

Every three months was the same:

ME, with pen and paper in hand: So, Proquar, have you noticed any effects since your last injection.

P: Well, I get very angry sometimes. I seem to have put on a lot of weight. And I get very, very angry sometimes.

ME, staring sympathetically, but not writing: Hmmm... Anything else?

P, thinking very hard: Er.. no, nothing else.

ME, writing ‘nothing’ next to ‘Side Effects’: Good... And... what about your sex drive? Some women find that it lowers their sex drive. How about you?

P: Well, I have to take the whole day off, and go away for the weekend, so we can stay in a hotel - because I can only think about one thing and I lose control. But after that, there doesn’t seem to be any effect.

The ME scribbled furiously, ‘increased libido’.

In reality, my libido probably subsided after that uncontrollable weekend, who could tell, I was usually too angry or sad to want sex. No record was kept of the rise in my blood pressure either: no measure of my blood pressure was taken before I started Depo, and my slightly higher than normal blood pressure was put down to my size - which also was not attributed to Depo.

This was in 1995, and Depo had really only just started to be used as a contraceptive. They were particularly interested in the side effects women were experiencing at that time. Although, my experience was that they weren’t really taking note.

I went to see an endocrinologist years later, and he nearly threw me out of his surgery when I suggested that Depo had contributed to my problems. He said, they’d been studying the effects of Depo for years now (please see above method of study) - and there was nothing that linked Depo Provera to any of these side effects, perhaps losing some weight would help..........

When my gynecologist reccomended depo-provera, I thought to myself "great, a discreet birth control method that I only have to think about every three months! How convenient!" I'm sure that other women felt the same way. After the first three or four months, I was experiencing painful sex (overall vaginal tenderness, actually.), breast tenderness (ouch!), and loss of sex drive. I read in the brochures that only a few women complain about these things but I decided to do some research anyway. About 80 percent of women who are on depo-provera suffer the same side-effects as I do (and yes, all at the same time.) This node is not meant to be a personal story but simply a warning. If you are thinking about using depo-provera, I strongly discourage it. I suggest taking the pill instead. It may seem inconvenient to remember to take a tablet every day, but the birth-control pill has been around for decades and has been proven the safest non-condom method of contraception in terms of side-effects.

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