Depo-Provera (Shot/Injectable)

Overview of Depo-Provera (Shot/Injectable)

Depo-Provera is an injectable form of hormonal contraception. Each injection provides contraception for 13 weeks. The active ingredient of Depo-Provera is a synthetic form of progesterone called medroxyprogesterone acetate.

How It Works

The shot’s dose of progesterone primarily works by preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation), by thickening the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from getting to the egg, and by thinning the endometrium to prevent implantation. People who use the shot may have a temporary loss of bone density but the bone loss is largely reversible once the method is stopped. Calcium (1200 mg/day) and vitamin D supplements are recommended while using the shot.


Typical use: 97%

Perfect use: 99.7%


  • Highly effective
  • Does not interfere with sex
  • Helps to prevent cancer of the uterus
  • Does not contain estrogen
  • Often decreases bleeding and cramping with periods
  • Effective for 12-13 weeks
  • Can be used during breastfeeding


  • Must receive shot every 12-13 weeks
  • May cause irregular bleeding, light bleeding, or eventually no bleeding
  • After discontinuing Depo-Provera, it may take up to 9-10 months to resume ovulation
  • Long term users of Depo-Provera may develop temporary and usually reversible decreased bone density, but for this reason, it is recommended to change to a different method after 2 years of using Depo-Provera
  • May have weight changes
  • May contribute to depression
  • No protection from Sexually Transmitted Infections


Available at SHCS Medical Services by prescription and nursing administration