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Advantages and Disadvantages of the Birth Control Shot


Advantages and Disadvantages of the Birth Control Shot

The following table lists the advantages and disadvantages of using the birth control shot.

Deciding about the progestin-only injection birth control method
Consideration

The birth control shot (such as Depo-Provera)

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Using the birth control shot for 2 or more years can cause bone loss, which may not be fully reversible after stopping the medicine. This concern may be greatest during the teen years, when young women should be building bone mass.1
  • Often causes irregular spotting
  • Causes slight weight gain
  • Fertility may not return for 6 to 8 months after stopping the medicine.
  • May decrease levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol
  • Provides no protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • May increase the risk of chlamydia or gonorrhea infection among women who are sexually exposed to these bacteria2

References

Citations

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2004). Black box warning added concerning long-term use of Depo-Provera contraceptive injection. FDA Talk Paper No. T04-50. Available online: http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/ANSWERS/2004/ANS01325.html.

  2. Morrison CS, et al. (2004). Hormonal contraceptive use, cervical ectopy, and the acquisition of cervical infections. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 31(9): 561–567.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last RevisedJune 28, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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