Among its major drawbacks of Depo-Provera is that the continuous or intermittent bleeding (spotting) which can sometimes occur during the first year. While this generally happens during the initial 3 months, it can persist for around a year or more in some women. Learn more about this side effect and what you can do when it persists.
Depo-Provera is an injectable form of birth control that uses a synthetic form of progesterone to prevent pregnancy for up to 14 weeks.
Depo-Provera isn’t only discreet and convenient, it is as much as 99.7 percent effective when used correctly. As a progestin-only contraceptive, it is also a wonderful option if you are unable to utilize estrogen-based contraception.
Spotting and Infection With Depo-Provera
If it comes to birth control, bleeding is still the number one reason women discontinue contraception. Having a medication like Depo-Provera, vaginal bleeding is not only a frequent side effect but one that is forecast to happen in one of every four girls.
Regrettably, there is no way to predict who will experience these side effects or how severe they could be. For the majority of women, symptoms of bleeding will solve within six months. On the off chance they do not, a woman could possibly have to deal with the option of either abandoning therapy with Depo-Provera or pushing through.
What to Expect if Bleeding Occurs
Should you begin spotting or bleeding after your first Depo-Provera shot, then it might look painful but it’s generally not permanent.
As stated by the drug manufacturer, around 39 percent of the women on Depo-Provera will stop having periods by the sixth month. By the end of the first year, more than half (57 percent) ought to be completely free of side effects.
For people who aren’t, there may be remedies that can help. The majority of these are intended only for short-term usage and, while successful, come with their own set of side effects as well as considerations.
One of the treatments currently approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
- Estrogen supplementation has been shown to ease bleeding by boosting the development of the uterine lining whilst stabilizing blood vessels and blood clots. Not merely does estrogen improve Depo-Provera’s side effects, it can be delivered by oral tablet, transdermal patch, or intravaginal ring. Research has proven that while estrogen offers short-term relief, the consequences generally return when treatment stops.
- Tranexamic acid (Lysteda) is a non-hormonal oral medicine which received FDA approval in 2009 for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding. Various studies have shown that 88 percent of girls on Depo-Provera had no vaginal bleeding within 20 days of therapy compared to 8.2 percent in the placebo group. Side effects are relatively mild and include a headache, back pain, stomach pain, sinusitis, joint and muscle pain, nausea, nausea, and fatigue.
- Mefenamic acid (Ponstel) is a non-prescription anti inflammatory drug used for short-term management of spotting and bleeding. It’s not thought to be a long-term solution as prolonged use can increase the chance of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
If one or more one of these remedies are contraindicated or inaccessible, some physicians may prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication like aspirin taken three times per day to reduce uterine inflammation and alleviate distress.
If significant bleeding occurs while choosing Depo-Provera, it is important to remember that the drug may not the origin (or just source) of the status. Abnormal bleeding should always warrant a comprehensive investigation, and all other causes (like uterine fibroids, sexually transmitted disease ( and cancer) ought to be ruled out before a course of treatment is prescribed.
A Word From Verywell
Birth control choices are not always easy.
If you are about Depo-Provera and faced with side effects you cannot bear, speak with your doctor about treatments which will permit you to persist or explore options that might be less impactful both in the short and long term.
In case you haven’t started treatment yet, find out as much about the drug as possible, weighing both the risks and benefits. Studies have shown that girls who were informed in advance about the dangers of Depo-Provera were most able to tolerate the side effects and less likely to discontinue. As always, knowledge is key when making informed decisions about contraception.