As you wade through your birth control options, it is not surprising that you would have more questions about Yaz and Depo Provera. One, Yaz, is very popular but somewhat mysterious due to its relatively new release. The other is seemingly convenient, but you may have heard a few bad things about it.
The greatest difference between Yaz and Depo Provera is the way the systems are administered. Yaz is a daily birth control pill. Active pills are taken daily for 24 days. After this, four placebo pills are taken to allow for your period. This cycle is repeated every 28 days. Depo Provera, on the other hand, is an injection. This injection must be given by a physician or otherwise qualified person every three months for continued effectiveness.
While both methods are nearly perfect at protecting against pregnancy, each has a small failure rate. According to Yaz, one in every 1,000 women can expect to get pregnant while using Yaz in any given year. This number is three in 1,000 on Depo according to Depo Provera. However, a woman on Yaz is less likely to use the method perfectly, slightly increasing her risk of becoming pregnant.
The main ingredient of Depo Provera is medroxyprogesterone, which is a derivative of progesterone, a common female hormone found in pregnancy. Yaz is a combination birth control of estrogen and progesterone, or drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol.
Both Yaz and Depo Provera have unique ways of working. Yaz prevents the egg from developing fully. Once the immature egg drops into the uterus, it is not able to accept sperm and is shed after the 24-pill cycle. Depo works by suppressing the body’s estrogen levels. This prevents ovulation; thickens cervical mucus, limiting the amount of sperm that can pass into the cervix; and prevents a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. The American Pregnancy Association points out the fact that this last point may have ethical implications. If you believe that a baby is viable once the egg is fertilized, then Depo Provera may not be for you.
All hormonal forms of birth control have side effects; nausea, weight gain, headaches and fever are all common. Blood clots, liver tumors and depression are other possible, more serious, side effects. However, Depo Provera and Pfizer warn against the extended use of these injections due to the unique possibility of bone mass loss. Extended use of the shot, more than two years, increases your chances of developing osteoporosis at a young age.