Sexual Infections with Depo Provera? (cont.)

The study compared three groups of women, those starting oral contraceptives, those starting DMPA injections, and those women who did not use hormonal contraceptives. By the time the study had ended, 45 women had developed either a chlamydial or gonococcal infection. The researchers estimated that women using DMPA had approximately 3½ times the risk of developing a chlamydia or gonorrhea infection than did women who were not using a hormonal contraceptive.

The study was designed to examine the combined number of cases of chlamydial and gonococcal infection and was not large enough to calculate the risk for acquiring each infection separately, says the study's project officer, Joanne Luoto, M.D., of NICHD's Contraception and Reproductive Health Branch. The study was unable to identify the means by which DMPA might increase the risk for chlamydial or gonococcal infection.

Other authors of the study are at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland; and at Planned Parenthood of Maryland in Baltimore.

Source: National Institutes of Health press release, August 23, 2004

Last Editorial Review: 8/24/2004