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Can the depo-provera shot cause cervical dysplasia?

By Anonymous October 28, 2009 - 7:03pm
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I have used the shot twice in my life about five years apart, both times it has been discovered that I have irregular cells on my cervix. The first time they cut them out. This time they wont bc the HPV test was negative so I have to go in for a PAP every 6 mos? Should I go in sooner?

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EmpowHER Guest

Well I don't know but everyone is different I'm uncertain becuase I have had three depro vera shots and my boyfriend also gave me hpv but I have had unusual symtoms with the shot before I had hpv but healthy eating and vitamins can lessen your risk and help get rid of the virus also preventing risk from cancer. The contraceptive pill can be a higher risk so I guess this is a better option than any other contraceptive

August 22, 2013 - 2:51am
EmpowHER Guest

My recent pap smear determined that I do have precancerous cells ( cervical dysplasia). I have not had the recommended leep procedure done as of yet. I went for my routine Depo provera shot,and they were highly concerned that leep wasn't done. Gynecologist is hesitant to give me Depo shot. So I'm currently trying to gain information on as to how Depo may increase my risk of cancer? Is Depo safe or should I seek alternative methods? I'm a 35 yr old mother of two. Thank you in advance .

June 12, 2013 - 9:08pm

Hi Anon,
There is emerging evidence in the literature regarding the correlation between hormonal contraception and cervical dysplasia.

The risk for developing cervical cancer with less than 5 years of hormonal contraceptive use is 10%
With 5-9 years of use the risk increases to 60%
With 10 years of use the risk increases to 120%

The risk declines after discontinuing hormonal contraception and by 10 or more years the risk returns to that of someone who has never used hormonal contraception.
Bottom line is that with increased use of hormonal contraception there is statistically significant risk of developing cervical cancer.

One of the ways in which hormonal contraception impacts HPV and cervical cancer is by increasing estrogen receptor expression in the tissues. HPV 18, one of the strains correlated with cervical dysplasia and cancer, has been shown to directly interact with estrogen receptors whether estrogen was present or not. Also, an in-vitro study showed that estrogen stimulates the growth of HPV positive cervical cancer cells.

The risk factors for developing HPV related cervical dysplasia are:
Oral contraceptive use
Early onset of sexual intercourse (before age 16)
Multiple sexual partners
Unprotected sex and condom use (condoms are only 70% effective against HPV exposure)
Uncircumcised males
Multiple pregnancies
Chlamydia infection
Herpes infection
Low socioeconomic status
Screening Pap smears (lack of)

What were the diagnoses on your paps and on your colposcopy?

October 30, 2009 - 11:17am
EmpowHER Guest

Well i meant twice in a certain time span the first time was for a full year nd this past time i have been using it for the last 6 months

October 29, 2009 - 5:09pm

At one time, there was concern that women who used hormonal contraception (including Depo, the pill, the ring, etc.) were experiencing more cases of cervical dysplasia. However, the association between hormonal contraception and cervical dysplasia is thought to be due to the absence of using other forms of birth control (condoms), rather than the hormones "causing" cervical dysplasia.

In other words...women who were use hormonal birth control were not using condoms, and one primary cause of cervical dyslplasia is sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), specifically HPV, that can (mostly) be prevented by use of condoms (hormonal birth control can not protect against STDs).

There are other causes of cervical dysplasia...some are genetic, and many are unknown. Here is a very helpful online brochure that talks about the different types of cervical dysplasia: American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG): Understanding Abnormal Pap Test Results and ACOG: Cancer of the Cervix. (Please know: the cancer of the cervix brochure talks about benign and abnormal cells, not just cancerous cells. It is still helpful in your situation).

The recommendation for follow-up treatment is anywhere from a repeat Pap smear every 3, 6, or 12 months; I've most often seen between 6-12 months. Your doctor would know best, depending on the specific type and severity of your dysplasia.

I am wondering, however...why did you receive the Depo shot only twice in 5 years (when it is supposed to be every 3 months?). Were you using any type of other birth control methods, such as hormonal (ie, pill) or barrier (ie, condom).

Thanks for your question...please let us know if you have any further questions.

October 29, 2009 - 1:11pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Alison Beaver)

I have been on the Depo for over 9 years and I have been celibate for 7 years. I recently had my cervix frozen, the Doctor did another and told everything is but still wants me to come back for a third one. It's been about 2 months said my last the only the lab sent was bill for a negative H.P.V. Test.

February 6, 2015 - 6:53pm
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