Depo-provera – Use, indications and contraindications in primary health care


Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA, Depo-Provera or Depo-Ralovera) is a hormonal contraceptive, effective in the prevention of pregnancy. It is also used for the treatment of endometriosis and certain types of cancer. Although it is a highly effective contraceptive agent, its use varies as a result of its method of administration and potential for long term effects.

It is used widely in the primary health care setting, including in Aboriginal health services.

This module is aimed at anyone working in an Aboriginal health service who provides clinical or counselling services to women considering the use of depot medroxyprogesterone acetate.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Describe the mechanism of action of medroxyprogesterone.
  • Highlight the indications for depot medroxyprogesterone acetate including for contraception, the management of endometriosis, and for the treatment of certain types of cancer.
  • Identify the recommended dose of depot medroxyprogesterone acetate depending on the indication for use.
  • Describe the appropriate method of administration including the Z-track method for intramuscular injection.
  • Understand some of the contraindications, considerations, and side effects of depot medroxyprogesterone acetate.

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