Depo Provera

 

An injection of “depo” or “the shot” is protective against pregnancy for up to 3 months.  It is given via injection into muscle usually within the first 5 days after starting a period.  As it contains a progestin hormone only it is likely to cause irregular bleeding for the first 2 to 3 injections; however, afterwards most women will not have any menstrual bleeding for the remainder of usage.  The shot may decrease bone mineral density yet this decrease in bone density is reversible once injections are stopped.

 

 IUD

 

An Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a small, plastic device that is inserted and left within the uterus to prevent pregnancy.  Two IUDs, both shaped like a “T”, are available.  Less than 1 pregnancy per 100 women using IUDs occurs each year.

 

 Mirena is an IUD that is good for five years, contains hormone, and for most women will result in decreased blood flow with periods and in some complete cessation of menstruation.

 

 Paragard is a copper containing IUD that is effective for up to 10 years, does not contain hormones, and therefore does not reduce menstrual flow.

 

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