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Depo-Provera Given When Pregnant

Depo-Provera® (medroxyprogesterone intramuscular injection) is considered a pregnancy Category X medication, which means it should not be given to pregnant women. What happens when Depo-Provera is given during pregnancy?
If a woman receives a Depo-Provera injection early in pregnancy, it does not seem to significantly increase the risk for birth defects. However, some research has indicated that this drug may be linked to abnormal development of the baby's genitals. This risk has not been verified, however, and more research is necessary to prove that this problem may be caused by Depo-Provera.
If Depo-Provera is given to a woman early in pregnancy, it may also decrease a baby's birth weight. However, this does not appear to affect later growth in the child. Studies have failed to show any long-term adverse effects in children exposed to medroxyprogesterone in utero (in the womb).
(To learn more, click Depo-Provera and Pregnancy. This article takes a closer look at what might happen if the drug is given when a woman is pregnant and offers more details on why Depo-Provera has a Category X classification.)
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