Health-related quality of life changes among users of depot medroxyprogesterone acetate for contraception

Contraception. 2011 Nov;84(5):e17-22. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2011.05.022. Epub 2011 Jul 14.


Background: Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) may have other noncontraceptive effects that could impact on the quality of life. The objective of this study was to assess the health-related quality of life changes associated with the use of DMPA for contraception.

Study design: A prospective, observational study using the Short Form-36 quality of life questionnaire.

Results: After 6 months of use, the participants had an improved physical summary score, mean change [5.64 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.87-9.4), p=.054]. There was no significant change in sexual function [5.33 (95% CI, -2.15 to 12.81), p=.0858] and mental summary score [-0.51 (95% CI, -1.90 to 2.92), p=.432]. The main side effect of DMPA was menstrual irregularity (32.5%); 17.2% of the participants found amenorrhea desirable.

Conclusion: Besides its contraceptive efficacy, DMPA is associated with an improvement in perceived physical health with no apparent adverse effect on mental health and sexual function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kenya
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate