Depo Provera Weakens Bones
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, one half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned and range from the early teens to the late 40s. Birth control helps postpone this and protect against some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). This has led to a vast number of women taking birth control, including 19% of all women back in 2002.
One of the methods of birth control is “the shot,” or Depo Provera (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate.) It contains a hormone similar to progesterone to regulate the menstrual cycle and stops the ovaries from releasing an egg. It also thickens the wall to prevent the implantation of a potentially fertilized egg. Only three out of every thousand women that are on the shot will get pregnant during their first year of use.
There is a side effect, however, that a recent study from the January 2009 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology found concerning women’s bones. Women on Depo Provera lost 5% of their mineral bone density in the lower spine and hip within two years of taking the drug.
Senior study author Dr. Abbey Berenson claimed that the “bone mineral density loss is not a significant concern for all women” using Depo Provera, but that “based on the findings, clinicians have the information they need to recommend basic behavior changes for high-risk women to minimize bone mineral density loss.” Dr. Berenson is a professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women’s Health at the Universwity of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
To read more, visit MSN’s review of the study.