Weighing Your Contraceptive Options: A Closer Look at Depo Provera

While we we don’t know whether it's directly linked to your pain, Depo Provera is commonly associated with a loss of bone mineral density (BMD), particularly in the top of the thigh bone, spine, and hip of adults.1 A decrease in BMD results in weaker bones, which may lead to osteoporosis or bone fractures. Since women have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than men, you may want to consider a BMD exam to ensure that you’re not experiencing rapid BMD loss.2

The birth control patch, called Xulane, is an option for women who are not comfortable with implants, which require a small incision. Xulane is a small beige patch that sticks to the skin, releasing synthetic hormones to prevent pregnancy. When used correctly, Xulane is 91-9% effective.3 Commonly known as “the pill,” oral contraceptives are another alternative. The NWHN does not recommend oral contraceptives that contain the progestin drospirenone, due to the increased risk of blood clots.4

Each contraceptive option has its pros and cons - including potential side effects. Work with your healthcare provider to weigh the risks and benefits of each to determine which contraceptive is best for you.

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1. https://www.nwhn.org/depo-provera-and-bone-mineral-density/
2. https://www.nwhn.org/depo-provera-and-bone-mineral-density/
3. http://youngwomenshealth.org/2013/01/16/hormone-patch/
4. https://www.nwhn.org/contraceptive-safety-concerns-whats-a-responsible-feminist-to-do/