Amy Oliver & Diana Dukhanova
Series Number: 32
The Summer 2000 issue DifferenTakes provided an introductory glance at the injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera (or DMPA), and why many women’s health advocates are concerned with its use and misuse around the world. Approved for use in the U.S. in 1992, Depo has only become more controversial as its image as a hassle-free contraceptive clashes with the reality of possible side effects such as irregular bleeding, weakness, depression, weight gain, nausea, loss of libido, darkening of skin, abdominal pain, headaches and hair loss. Side effects can be so numerous and severe that over 70% of American women who have ever used Depo discontinued their use within the first year.3 Injected into the arm or buttock, Depo’s effects last for three months and its effectiveness rate is an impressive 99.7%.4 But with alarming new risks added to these worrisome side effects, the contraceptive deserves closer scrutiny.