Beware of Depo-Provera

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stop sterilization abuse

Depo-Provera (also known as “the shot” or Depo) is a provider-controlled synthetic hormonal contraceptive for women.
Users must receive a Depo shot every three months by a trained physician. Users of Depo-Provera cannot remove the provider-administered injection under any circumstances. Once you’ve gotten the shot, there is no antidote to reverse its effects. Depo is not a barrier method and does not protect a woman from sexually transmitted diseases. In a 1994 study of Depo users in the U.S., 33% were under the age of 19, 84% were Black women, and 74% were low income.

Depo-Provera is potentially life-threatening...
...and yet it was approved by the FDA for birth control use in the United States in 1993 after aggressive lobbying by Depo’s corporate manufacturers. A provider-controlled injectable birth control drug, Depo-Provera was found to be unsafe by women’s health care advocates who campaigned to ban the drug.

Women of color are at special risk.
Upjohn Company, Depo’s original manufacturer, tested the drug on poor women and women of color here and around the world—without informing them of the risks. In this country, these same populations of women have historically been subjected to sterilization abuses. “The shot” is currently disproportionately pushed on poor women, women of color, and women with disabilities.

The effects of Depo-Provera are irreversible.
Depo-Provera is injected every three months to prevent pregnancy. Once you’ve gotten the shot, there is no antidote to reverse its effects. Women can suffer from side effects long after they have stopped using the drug.

Depo-Provera will not protect you from HIV/AIDS.
Birth control methods like Depo-Provera and Norplant provide no protection from HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Further, there is evidence that Depo-Provera actually increases the risk of HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

POTENTIAL HEALTH HAZARDS OF DEPO PROVERA INCLUDE:
  • Breast Cancer: According to three separate studies, breast cancer occurs two to four times more often among young women who use Depo-Provera.

  • Osteoporosis: Depo-Provera is now believed to cause loss of bone mass among women. Osteoporosis is a debilitating condition that becomes more life-threatening as women grow older.

  • Cervical Cancer: Some studies indicate that Depo-Provera increases the risk of cervical cancer.

  • Excessive Bleeding: Depo-Provera can cause heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding.

  • Weight Change: On average, Depo users gain 12-16 pounds over four to five years, but some women have gained up to 40 pounds.

  • Difficulty Getting Pregnant: Some women who stop using Depo-Provera don’t get their period again for as long as two years, preventing pregnancy for much longer than intended.

  • Other Side Effects: Severe Depression, Loss of Sex Drive, Fatigue, Dizziness, Headaches, Nervousness, Abdominal Pain, Hair Loss, Facial Hair Growth.