HomeDelay Your PeriodProvera (medroxyprogesterone)

Provera (Medroxyprogesterone)

Medroxyprogesterone can be used to regulate menstruation and to treat menstrual problems. This medication is often suitable for women who cannot use Norethisterone (a medication licensed for menstrual delay).

Can I buy Provera online?

The Online Clinic can prescribe Provera for women who wish to delay their period if it is going to happen at an inconvenient time. Many women will wish to delay their period for exams or a holiday.

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What is Medroxyprogesterone?

Medroxyprogesterone is a progestogen, which is a synthetic steroid hormone similar to the female hormone progesterone that occurs naturally in the body. As a menstrual regulator, medroxyprogesterone can be used to delay your periods. It may also be used to remedy periods that are heavy or painful or irregular or abnormally frequent or absent.

Medroxyprogesterone acts on cells in the female reproductive tract, breast, part of the brain called the hypothalamus, and the pituitary gland. It changes the mucus in the cervix (neck of the womb), making it more viscous, and prepares the wall of the endometrium (uterus or womb) to receive a fertilised egg for implantation and development. With pregnancy, progestogens help to maintain the pregnancy and promote growth of the breasts’ milk-secreting (mammary) glands. Medroxyprogesterone also prevents ovulation, i.e., release of the egg from the ovary, thereby preventing pregnancy.

How to use Medroxyprogesterone

Detailed instructions about taking Medroxyprogesterone tablets will be explained to you by your doctor. Usually, 10 mg tablets are taken three times a day. The course length depends on the number of days you wish to delay your period.

You must continue to take the medicine for as long as your doctor has told you to. If you forget, take your tablet as soon as you remember and continue as instructed – you must not double the next dose to make up for the forgotten tablet. However, speak to a doctor if you take too many tablets.

Who can use Medroxyprogesterone?

Medroxyprogesterone is generally taken by women who have started menstruating. Medroxyprogesterone must not be taken by women who are pregnant as it could harm the baby. Women planning a pregnancy, trying for a baby, think that they could be pregnant, or breastfeeding should talk to their doctor before taking this medicine. It is important to realise that Medroxyprogesterone will not prevent pregnancy, and that an alternative means of contraception (e.g., a condom) must be used to prevent pregnancy while taking this medicine.

You must not take Medroxyprogesterone if you are allergic to medroxyprogesterone or to medicines containing a similar hormone or to the other ingredients in the tablet. Additionally, you must not take Medroxyprogesterone if have or have had breast cancer, blood clots in veins or arteries (i.e., a venous or arterial thrombosis), liver problems, or porphyria. Tell your doctor about any other conditions that you have as it may affect your suitability to take Medroxyprogesterone. Particularly mention problems with your heart, kidney, or hearing, or if you have migraines, epilepsy, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, gallstones, systemic lupus erythematosus, or asthma, or if you are having major surgery.

While everyone carries a small risk of venous thromboembolism (a blood clot in a vein, particularly of the legs or lungs), the risk is slightly greater when taking Medroxyprogesterone. This is especially so in women who have had blood clots previously, have a family history of blood clots, are overweight or inactive for long time periods, have had repeated miscarriages, or have major surgery or serious injury.

Discuss all your present, recent past, and possible future medicines with your doctor, including those you buy yourself (e.g., herbal remedies). This is because the action of Medroxyprogesterone can be changed by some medicines, including anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin), steroid inhibitors for Cushing’s syndrome (aminoglutethimide), anti-epileptics (e.g., phenytoin and carbamazepine), antivirals for HIV/AIDS (e.g., ritonavir, nelfinavir, nevirapine, and efavirenz) and other anti-infectives (e.g., rifampicin, rifabutin), and St John’s Wort for depression.

Medroxyprogesterone side effects

Allergic reactions are seen, albeit rarely; these manifest as difficulty breathing, wheezing, faintness, itchy skin rash, or swelling of face, tongue, hands and/or feet. Stop the medicine and seek medical help immediately. Also stop this medicine and see a doctor immediately if you experience symptoms of a blood clot in the brain (a stroke), lungs, or lower limbs (deep vein thrombosis). Symptoms of stroke may include severe headache, speech or visual disturbances, body weakness/numbness, fainting, or collapse. Symptoms of a lung blood clot may include sudden and severe chest pain, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood. Symptoms of a lower limb blood clot may include a painful, tender or swollen leg, ankle or foot; or purple or red and warm leg skin.

It is very common to experience headache, nausea, or vaginal bleeding or spotting when taking Medroxyprogesterone. Commonly, women report breast pain and tenderness, weight increase, hair loss, depression, nervousness, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, tiredness, fever, itchy skin with hives, or acne. Other known but uncommon side effects are breast discharge unrelated to pregnancy/breastfeeding, fluid retention, and facial hair. Some women may experience changes in their menstrual cycle.

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Reviewed by: Dr Loraine Haslam MBBS, DRCOG, DFSRH, LoC SDI, LoC IUT, MRCGP
GMC registration number: 4524038
Date: 26 October 2023
Next review: 25 October 2025
All UK registered doctors can have their registration checked on
The Medical Register at the GMC website.

Information Leaflet

Source and further information

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