Depo-Provera (also called the Depo Shot or DMPA) is a type of birth control that is administered by a shot. Depo Provera has the hormone progestin, which is responsible for preventing ovulation. One shot of Depo-Provera prevents pregnancy for up to 14 weeks. Prevention of ovulation stops the chances of pregnancy. When the egg is not produced in the female reproductive system, a child cannot be conceived. Depo-Provera makes the cervical mucus thicker, due to which the sperm cannot pass through the female reproductive system.
The Journal of Adolescent Health lists a few side effects that can be caused by Depo-Provera including menstrual irregularity, weight gain and hair loss. DMPA or Depo-Provera is highly effective and is recognized by the Food and Drug Administration in 1992. Research conducted over a huge number of women has shown that the chances of conceiving a child when you are under Depo-Provera are less than one percent. Hence it is a convenient and discreet method of birth control.
Is it normal to bleed on Depo-Provera?
One of the major disadvantages of Depo-Provera is the continuous or irregular bleeding or spotting that occurs in the first year of taking the shot. The most common effect of taking depo is lighter periods as more time passes. For some women, menstrual flow might stop completely. Others might have heaver blood. According to a survey published in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 60% of the women under Depo-Provera suffer from bleeding as a symptom, and irregular bleeding is extremely common in the first three months after taking depo.
Depo-Provera isn’t suitable to be used by everyone, however. Your medical consultant might advise you to not undergo Depo-Provera if you have had previous vaginal bleeding due to unknown reasons, breast cancer, any liver ailments or any unwanted reaction to the components of Depo-Provera. Depo-Provera treatment may not be advisable for people with osteoporosis, a history of depression, and heart complications.
5 Easy Remedies to Stop Bleeding on Depo Provera
However there are some easy remedies to deal with irregular bleeding and spotting under depo.
1. Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs
Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs which are non-steroidal (NSAIDs) can help to lessen the inflammation and pain is experienced as a symptom of abnormal uterine bleeding.
According to a review published in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in the year 2013, taking a type of NSAID called mefenamic acid can help to reduce the duration of bleeding and make the bleeding flow lighter in people undergoing Depo-Provera therapy.
However medication is subjective and has different symptoms in different people, hence it is necessary to discuss dosage to reduce bleeding and discomfort caused due to Depo-Provera with a medical professional.
2. Accepting that it is a normal symptom to bleed under Depo-Provera
The easiest way to deal with irregular and sudden bleeding caused by Depo-Provera is to accept that it is a common symptom. Almost 60% of women who are administered the Depo-Provera shot experience bleeding. Irregular bleeding can be alarming and inconvenient. However this abnormal bleeding is just your body getting used to the hormone progesterone being synthesized into your bloodstream. Knowledge and gradual acceptance of irregular bleeding as a natural symptom will help people to manage the frustration and disturbance of mental peace that comes with irregular bleeding.
3. Wearing pads, protective underwear, or tampons
Irregular, sudden and abnormal bleeding can ruin daily clothes. Wearing panty liners can reduce the chance of staining your daily clothes. You can also wear sanitary napkins, tampons or protective underwear to deal with unanticipated spotting of blood. Depo-Provera treatment is used for contraception but it can give rise to sudden bleeding. Carrying tampon, panty liner and sanitary napkins during the first year, especially the first three months of the treatment can help in dealing with irregular bleeding and spotting.
4. Stopping the Depo-Provera therapy
Depo-Provera shots are an extremely effective way of controlling pregnancy. However Depo-Provera causes a number of symptoms like headaches, abdominal pain, nervousness, dizziness, weight gain, bloating, acnes and hair loss. If Depo-Provera shot is unsuitable for you and the side effects are too frustrating, then it is best to stop the Depo-Provera treatment. However once Depo-Provera has been injected it remains effective for 3 months after being administered. Hence the side effects might continue for three months.
If the side effects are inconvenient and are affecting your daily physical health, then it is best to consult a physician and stop the Depo-Provera treatment. This will stop irregular bleeding and spotting. However it is important to remember that the side effects of Depo-Provera are temporary and tend to affect your body less adversely when your body gets better adjusted with time.
5. Undergoing estrogen therapy
Medical practitioners often suggest the use of estrogen to counter the side effects caused by Depo-Provera and its progestin content. Estrogen therapy concentrates on the use of transdermal estradiol patch mostly. According to a clinical trial published the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, doctors recommend estrogen therapy to deal with irregular bleeding caused due to Depo-Provera therapy.
Estrogen therapy can be accessed through hormone therapy or oral contraceptives can be used. However before engaging into estrogen therapy you should consult your doctor. Estrogen therapy has been proved to counter the side effects of Depo-Provera.
In conclusion, Depo-Provera is a common, safe, and effective way of birth control. One Depo-Provera shot is effective for up to 3 months or more. It is very convenient as one shot makes you secure for a long time, and there are no needs for contraceptives. You should consult your medical practitioner before administering Depo-Provera shot. Common symptoms of Depo-Provera are irregular bleeding and spotting but a number of easy remedies are available to help you deal with it.