Depo-Provera is an injection containing the synthetic hormone progestin which is called depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA). Depo-Provera is a hormonal method of contraception obtained by prescription.
First, it prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg, which is also known as ovulation.Second, it thickens the cervical mucus which acts as a barrier preventing the sperm from reaching the egg. Third, it changes the lining of the uterus preventing implantation.
What are the side effects or health risks of Depo-Provera?
Irregular bleeding is the most common side effect. For some, there may be increased light spotting and breakthrough bleeding, whereas others may experience longer and heavier bleeding. For most women, after a year of use periods usually, become fewer and lighter or may stop altogether. Depo-Provera has side effects similar to those experienced by users of oral or other hormonal types of contraception which include:
Other reported side effects include acne, anxiety, backaches, bloating, depression, leg cramps, hair loss or excessive hair growth, or loss of sex drive. You should not use the injections if you think you are pregnant; consult your physician about using Depo-Provera while breastfeeding.
Does the Depo shot cause massive bone density loss in teeth?
A study published in the Journal of Periodontology reported that Depo shot users are more likely to experience poor periodontal health than those who have never taken the injectable contraceptive. Participants in this study were women ages 15-44 who have used or were currently using the Depo shot. Each participant was given a dental examination noting instances of gingival bleeding, periodontal pockets, and clinical attachment (CA) loss. The study found that Depo users had more gingival bleeding, periodontal pockets, and CA loss than women who have never used the injectable contraceptive.
Other studies reveal that the shot decreases women’s bone mineral density (BMD), which raise questions about the safety of this contraceptive. Loss of BMD could lead to the development of osteoporosis and bone fractures later in life. Some studies show that once Depo use is stopped, women regain the BMD they lost; however, complete recovery has not been demonstrated in all cases. The Depo label includes a warning statement about its effects on BMD and advises women to not use Depo for more than two years.
Those women who are using depo as a form of contraception are recommended to take calcium pills or drink 2 cups of milk per day to prevent loss of bone density.