Skip directly to content

Depo-Provera® (medroxyprogesterone acetate)

What is Depo-Provera and what is it used for?

Depo-Provera is a contraceptive* injection and a prescription only medicine. It can be used:

  • In women for long-term contraception; after 2 years, it is recommended to evaluate whether Depo-Provera is still the most appropriate option in terms of risks and benefits
  • Female teenagers, but only after all other methods have been discussed with a Healthcare Professional (HCP) and they are considered unsuitable or unacceptable
  • On just one or two occasions in the following cases:
    • If the male partner is undergoing a vasectomy, to provide protection until the vasectomy becomes effective
    • To prevent pregnancy in the immediate period following a rubella immunisation, while the virus is still active
    • Whilst awaiting sterilisation

The active ingredient in Depo-Provera is similar to (but not the same as) the natural hormone progesterone that is produced in the ovaries during the second half of the menstrual cycle.  Depo-Provera acts by preventing an egg from fully developing and being released from the ovaries during a menstrual cycle.  If an egg is not released, it cannot become fertilised by sperm and result in pregnancy.


How to use:

Administration of Depo-Provera is by a Healthcare Professional. 

The medicine is a Prescription Only Medicine (POM).


Reference Information


*prevents pregnancy


PP-DEP-GBR-0045 / Sept 2018

Pfizer is unable to provide advice on personal medical matters. Please consult your doctor or other relevant health professionals for specific, health-related advice and support.

If you get any side effects when taking this or any other medicine, talk to your doctor or other relevant health professional e.g. pharmacist, nurse.. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the packaging leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.