The long term unpleasant side effects are the most severe problems associated with Depo Provera. Keep on reading so you will know about the problems of Depo Shots.
Furthermore, you can also experience side effects of Depo Provera which are less serious. These can include:
- Abnormalities in the menstrual cycle. You can experience spotting and bleeding as side effects.
- Another side effect of Depo Provera is amenorrhea or absence of menstrual period.
- You can have a dark spot on the skin which occurs typically around or on the face. This side effect will not disappear completely.
- A common side effect of Depo Provera is gain in weight because craving for food has increased.
- You can also experience pregnancy-like symptoms such as discomfort in the abdomen, nausea, sore breasts and fatigue. Usually, these occur after doing the first four injections and then, would disappear later on.
- About fifty seven percent of women will not menstruate after they have used Depo Provera injections for a year.
- Approximately sixty percent of women will not menstruate after two years of using Depo Provera.
- A woman’s menstrual period will usually return within three to ten months after she decided to stop the use of Depo Provera injections.
- After a woman has used up the last injection of Depo Provera, a noted side effect is that it can take about 9 to 12 months for a woman to become pregnant.
Other indications and side effects are leg cramps, headache, bloating, few loss of hair on the scalp, decreased sex drive, dizziness, nervousness and some increase in hair all over the body. Take note that these may or may not be due to Depo Provera. Inform your medical provider at once if you notice any of these side effects.
According to researchers in England, women who are using Depo Provera injections for a long time as a method of birth control are more likely to have decrease density in bone mass when compared to women who choose to have other methods for birth control.
In another study conducted in Italy, it was discovered that more than forty percent of women who are using Depo Provera for a year or more experience lower than the average bone density. About 18% is the expected rate of decrease bone mass density in women during their young age. But both studies have reach a conclusion that young women who use Depo Provera injections for birth control have decreased bone mass density at an age when it should be increasing. Such decrease in bone density can be linked to osteoporosis, a disorder that will result to thinning of the bones and rib cage. Consequently, bones can break even with a minor bump or fall.
Some research studies found out that women who use Depo Provera have lower bone density when compared to other females of the same age. Some studies have shown that bone loss takes place in adolescent girls who use Depo Provera. Females under 21 years of age who are using Depo Provera for a long time will have the lowest bone density particularly if they used it during a young age. Nonetheless, the bone density will somehow improve when woman stops the use of Depo Provera as long as it is before the menopausal period or before she reaches the age of 40. Generally speaking, the risk for low bone density will not increase even if Depo Provera is used for a long time.
So far, there are no published studies related to the long-term side effect which follow women into their menopausal period after they have used Depo Provera for a long time. Long term studies are necessary to determine if women are more prone to experience the side effects of osteoporosis or fragility fractures after the use of Depo. Women who are between 18-40 years old should use Depo Provera with caution.
Also, those who have the risk factors for osteoporosis particularly females who are using corticosteroid tablets, with low body weight because of eating disorders like anorexia, women who smoke and those with strong family history of osteoporosis should be vigilant when using Depo Provera since the side effects can become worse.