(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:

  • For long-term contraception where you and the person who provides your contraception (e.g. your doctor or healthcare professional) have decided that this method is the most suitable for you.
  • If you wish to use Depo-Provera for more than 2 years your doctor or healthcare professional may wish to re-evaluate the risks and benefits of using Depo-Provera to make sure that it is still the best option for you.
  • In teenagers only after other methods of contraception have been discussed with the healthcare professional who provides your contraception and considered to be unsuitable or unacceptable.
  • For just one or two occasions in the following cases:
    • if your partner is undergoing a vasectomy, to give you protection until the vasectomy becomes effective
    • if you are being immunised against rubella, to prevent pregnancy during the period of activity of the virus
    • if you are 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 your menstrual cycle. If an egg is not released it cannot become fertilised by sperm and result in pregnancy. Depo-Provera also causes changes in the lining of your womb that makes it less likely for pregnancy to occur. It also thickens the mucus at the entrance of the womb, making it more difficult for sperm to enter.


How to use:

Administration of Depo-Provera is by a Healthcare Professional. 

The medicine is a Prescription Only Medicine (POM).


Reference Information

If you would like to see the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) or Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) for Depo-Provera these can be found at the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC).


*prevents pregnancy


Pfizer is unable to provide advice on personal medical matters. Please consult your doctor or other relevant health professional 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 or search the Google Play or Apple App Store for MHRA Yellow Card. By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

 PP-DEP-GBR-0061 / October 2021