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Contraception. 1997 Oct;56(4):209-14.

Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate. Patterns of use and reasons for discontinuation.

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Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago Medical School, Dunedin, New Zealand.


Little information is available from outside clinic settings about the acceptability of depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA, Depo-Provera) as an injectable contraceptive. In this national, population-based study, New Zealand women aged 25 to 54 years were selected at random from voter rolls. The 1864 subjects were interviewed by telephone after an initial approach by letter. More than 1 in 8 women (13.7%) had used DMPA at some time. The proportion was higher among Maori women and among those of lower income and education, but DMPA had been used by a substantial proportion of all socioeconomic groups. A quarter of all users reported receiving only a single injection of DMPA, and only 53% had used this method for a total of 12 months or more. Only 5 (1.6%) of discontinuations were attributed to contraceptive failure; this corresponds to a contraceptive failure rate of 0.9 per 100 woman-years. Side effects were given as the most common reasons for stopping, with menstrual disturbances and weight gain being cited most often. Other reasons for stopping included no further need for contraception or doubts about the appropriateness of DMPA. In this developed country population, DMPA is widely used for short periods but its acceptability is limited by the occurrence of side effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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