With the population quickly taking up what little land area is available, there is definitely a need to cut down the number of babies that arrives in the world. Birth control, however, is more than just a means of population control. It is also an effective way to ensure that a family can live a decent and comfortable life.
One of the most controversial birth control methods for women is Depo Provera, commonly known as a depo shot. It is controversial because several women claim it is ineffective, but probably because it wasn’t administered as recommended. Depo-Provera can be likened to a vaccine that needs to be injected at regular intervals. It contains a hormone similar to progesterone called progestin that can prevent pregnancy for up to 3 months. For it to be effective, the first depo shot must be given within the first 5 days of a woman’s menstrual period.
List of Pros of Depo Shot
1. High success rate
As long as a depo shot is administered accordingly, it is proven 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. In fact, only 1 out of 100 women can become pregnant while still on Depo Provera, which is why it is considered the most effective and reliable birth control method.
2. Affordable and easy to use
The cost of a single shot may seem more expensive than if you were to buy contraceptive pills, but you must take into account that a single depo shot is good for 3 months, which would turn out to be cheaper. What is even better is that you only need to remember one thing — a single shot after every 3 months, which is easier to do than remembering to take a pill every day at the exact hour or risk getting pregnant.
3. Does not contain estrogen
Estrogen is a common ingredient on birth control pills that increases the risk of developing endometrial cancer, especially when taken in prolonged periods. Some women can’t take estrogen as well, which makes a depo shot a better alternative.
4. Reduce uterine cancer risk
As already mentioned, because Depo Provera does not contain estrogen, the probability of women on depo shot developing uterine (endometrial) cancer is lower.
List of Cons of Depo Shot
1. Does not protect against STDs
While a depo shot is almost 100% effective in preventing pregnancy, it does not offer any protection against sexually transmitted diseases and infections. For safety reasons, using latex condom is still highly recommended.
2. Have associated side effects
Two common problems with depo shot are irregular menstrual periods and spotting between periods. Some women will have lighter and shorter periods, while others would have longer and heavier periods. Some may notice spotting, while others would not have menstruation for a single year.
Other side effects include nausea, depression, weight gain, headache, hair loss or increased facial and body hair, change in appetite and sex drive, tender breasts and even bone thinning, although it is only temporary.
3. Increase risk of ectopic pregnancy
If a woman becomes pregnant while on Depo Provera the likelihood of her having an ectopic pregnancy is high. It is also often considered fatal, in this case.
Now that you know the pros and cons, it is time to make a decision to go on a depo shot or not.