Depo-Provera can reduce sex drive

People's Pharmacy

September 26, 1995|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

When I heard about Depo-Provera, it sounded like the no-muss, no-fuss, long-acting contraceptive I had been wishing for. But shortly after the shot my sex drive disappeared.

I guess it's no wonder women don't get pregnant if they all feel like I do. How long will this go on?

The natural hormone progesterone can depress libido, and the ingredient in Depo-Provera, medroxyprogesterone, can have a similar effect.

Some people are more susceptible to this side effect than others, and it sounds as if you are sensitive to this reaction.

Depo-Provera is a long-acting injection that provides effective contraceptive protection for approximately three months.

It can be detected for up to 6 1/2 months in the bloodstreams of some women.

You should return to normal at some point between the three months at which you can no longer count on contraceptive effectiveness and the six months at which you should have no more than a trace of Depo-Provera left in your system. Naturally, you will need an effective contraceptive method during that time.

Because you have discovered that you react to progesterone in this way, you may want to be cautious in the future about birth control methods that rely strongly on this hormone, such as Norplant and certain oral contraceptives, including Micronor, Nor-Q.D. and Ovrette.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist. Dr. Teresa Graedon is a medical anthropologist and nutrition expert.

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