What are the advantages of DMPA use in adolescents?
The ease of use and the otherwise low side effect profile makes DMPA a very attractive choice for birth control. It is particularly beneficial in adolescents where the risk of pregnancy is estimated at 10% between the ages of 15-19. Of adolescent females who use contraception, an estimated 10% use DMPA. Over one million adolescent girls are prescribed DMPA in this country annually. It has been shown to have a much higher continuation rate in adolescents compared to oral contraceptive pill at one year: 83% compared to 49% (1).
Since its FDA approval for use as contraceptive method, DMPA has been credited with the decreasing pregnancy rates by adolescents over the past decade (2).
DMPA also has many non-contraceptive uses including:
- menstrual regulation
- management of severe dysmenorrhea and endometriosis
- protection against endometrial cancer
- reduction is sickle cell crises
- Rager KM. No bones about it - depot medroxyprogesterone acetate remains an excellent contraceptive option for adolescents. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology 2005; 18(3): 187-8.
- Position Paper. Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate and Bone Mineral Density in Adolescents-The Black Box Warning: A Position Paper of the Society for Adolescent Medicine. J Adoles Health 2006; 39: 296-301.