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Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 1990 Feb;30(1):74-6.

Depo Provera: a profile of current users.

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Family Planning Association of Victoria.


This retrospective study reviewed the current users of Depo-Medroxy-Progesterone-Acetate (Depo-Provera) from April to June, 1987, within the Family Planning Association of Victoria's Richmond Clinic. The profile that emerged from the study showed the clients were of average intelligence, well informed, had tried other methods of contraception, had a high number of unplanned pregnancies and chose to use Depo-Provera as other methods of contraception were unsuitable.


In a retrospective study the case histories of 70 users of Depo-Provera (containing depo medroxyprogesterone acetate) were reviewed during April-June 1987 at the Family Planning Association of Victoria's Richmond Clinic in Australia to ascertain their socioeconomic status, obstetric and contraceptive history, and side effects of Depo-Provera use. 47 (67%) were employed; 20 (29%) were health care card holders (8 were unemployed and 6 were supporting mothers); 2 were wards of state referred from adolescent institutions; and 3 women (4%) had intellectual disability. 37 (53%) had been pregnant with the total number of pregnancies of 65; 16 women had a total of 25 terminations of pregnancy; and 1 woman had a history of 4 therapeutic abortions. 53 women (76%) had started using contraception before the age of 20; 47% had used more than 1 type of contraception, 46% had used oral contraceptives only, 23% had used the condom, and 5% had used nothing. Age range at start of Depo Provera use was 14-40 years. The reasons given for commencing Depo-Provera included a combination of problems with other methods, forgetting OCs, and side effects of OCs. 47 (67%) had requested the use of Depo-Provera, of whom 13 (18%) had used it previously. 43 (61%) used Depo-Provera for 1 year or less, and only 1 patient had used it for 6 years. Among 52 women (74%) who had more than 1 dose of the injectable, the major side effects related to menstrual disturbances; 31 (41%) had amenorrhea. 2 of these women had breakthrough bleeding during the 1st dose. 17 women (24%) had either irregular bleeding or breakthrough bleeding, while 1 patient continued to have regular periods. 7 women (10%) had other side effects including depression; 4 women (6%) complained of weight gain; and 2 (3%) had breast soreness. 41 women (59%) were smokers, and 40% of them smoked 15 or more cigarettes per day. 35% of the women continued with the method beyond the study period, while the proportion of women within the clinic who continued using Depo-Provera was about 0.5%.

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