Physiologic and psychologic symptoms associated with use of injectable contraception and 20 μg oral contraceptive pills

Abbey B. Berenson, Susan D. Odom, Carmen Radecki Breitkopf, Mahbubur Rahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of the study was to compare menstrual, physiologic, and psychologic symptoms over 2 years among women initiating use of depot medroxyprogesterone acetate or an oral contraceptive pill with a reduced pill-free interval and those not using hormonal contraception. Study Design: A total of 608 women reported their experience regarding 17 symptoms prior to initiating contraception and every 6 months thereafter for 24 months. Longitudinal relationships between symptoms and contraceptives were assessed after adjusting for age, visits, and baseline status of symptoms. Results: Oral contraceptive pills were protective against mastalgia (odds ratio [OR], 0.7), cramping (OR, 0.5), hair loss (OR, 0.6), acne (OR, 0.4), nervousness (OR, 0.5), and mood swings (OR, 0.7). Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) was protective against bloating (OR, 0.5) and mood swings (OR, 0.7) but caused weight gain (OR, 2.3), bleeding episodes more than 20 days (OR, 13.4), and missed periods (OR, 96.9). Both methods caused intermenstrual bleeding. Conclusion: Evidence-based data regarding beneficial and adverse symptoms associated with these methods may help clinicians counsel patients appropriately prior to contraceptive initiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351.e1-351.e12
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008



  • birth control
  • contraception
  • depot medroxyprogesterone acetate
  • oral contraceptive pills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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