STD Home > Depo-Provera and Breastfeeding

Although Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone intramuscular injection) does pass through human breast milk, it does not appear to harm a nursing infant. In fact, progestin-only contraceptives like Depo-Provera are often recommended as safe birth control options for women who are breastfeeding. Also, Depo-Provera does not reduce breast milk production.

Can Breastfeeding Women Use Depo-Provera?

Depo-Provera® (medroxyprogesterone intramuscular injection) is a prescription medicine used to prevent pregnancy. Higher doses of the drug are approved for use in advanced kidney and endometrial cancer. Depo-Provera comes as a liquid that is injected into a muscle in the upper arm or buttocks. It contains medroxyprogesterone, a progestin hormone.
Depo-Provera passes through breast milk in humans. However, this product is generally considered safe for use while breastfeeding. In fact, it is often used as birth control in women who are nursing.

More Information on Depo-Provera and Breastfeeding

Although Depo-Provera is known to pass through breast milk, it does not appear to harm a nursing baby. It also does not affect breast milk production.
Birth control that contains estrogen is generally not recommended for use during breastfeeding because estrogen can increase a woman's risk for a serious blood clot in the four weeks after childbirth. Estrogen can also decrease breast milk production. For these reasons, progestin-only birth control products, including Depo-Provera, are often recommended.
It is generally recommended that women wait to use Depo-Provera until six weeks after giving birth. This helps reduce the amount of the medicine passed to the baby in the early weeks of life.
(Click Breastfeeding and Birth Control to learn more about your options for birth control while breastfeeding.)
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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