For many women, the oral birth control pill is the first thing that comes to mind when they consider their contraception options. But these days, there are a lot more birth control options from which to choose.
Each type of birth control has its benefits, and you need to consider your lifestyle, goals, and other factors when choosing what’s right for you. All of the choices can become overwhelming, but you don’t have to go it alone.
Find the best birth control method for you with help from A. Michael Coppa, MD, and our OB/GYN team. We’re trained in the benefits of all the most common birth control options, including oral pills, skin patches, intrauterine devices, and Depo-Provera® — the birth control shot.
Depo-Provera is an FDA-approved injection that you get in our office. There’s no need to take a daily pill, and each shot is effective for three months.
How Depo-Provera works
Depo-Provera is the brand name for medroxyprogesterone acetate, a medication that contains the hormone progestin. Progestin works as a contraceptive because it stops ovulation.
During your menstrual cycle, one of your ovaries releases an egg during ovulation, and this is when you can get pregnant. If your ovaries don’t release eggs regularly, the chance of pregnancy is greatly reduced.
Depo-Provera suppresses ovulation to help prevent pregnancy, but it also thickens your cervical mucus. Thicker cervical mucus makes it harder for sperm to reach your fallopian tubes and your ovaries, which enhances the effectiveness of this birth control method.
Benefits of Depo-Provera
The biggest benefit of Depo-Provera is that it’s convenient. There’s no daily action required, you just need to get one shot every three months to stay protected.
Because of the way Depo-Provera works, it can decrease bothersome menstrual symptoms like painful cramps and bleeding. Women on Depo-Provera often experience lighter periods, and for some, periods stop completely.
Depo-Provera is a birth control option that doesn’t contain estrogen, making it a good option for women who need to avoid it for other health reasons. It may also decrease your risk of endometrial cancer.
Getting Depo-Provera shots
Dr. Coppa and our team offer birth control consultations to help you decide which method is best for you. After reviewing your medical history, we can determine if Depo-Provera could be a good option.
Depo-Provera is an injection that’s administered deep into your muscle, either in your upper arm or your buttocks. The injection takes just a few moments and it’s well-tolerated by most women.
Depo-Provera begins working immediately if you get your first injection within seven days of the start of your period. If you get it at any other time during your menstrual cycle, you need to use another form of contraception for about a week.
Depo-Provera doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The best way to avoid STD infection is by using a condom each time you have sex.
If you choose Depo-Provera as your birth control method, you need to come back to the office every 12-13 weeks for your shots. Getting regularly scheduled injections is the only way to ensure that the method is effective in preventing pregnancy.
Are you wondering if Depo-Provera could be right for you? Schedule a birth control consultation with Dr. Coppa. Contact one of our convenient locations today. We’re located in Cranston, Providence, and Smithfield, Rhode Island.