Provera is a treatment for irregular, heavy or painful periods. It contains the synthetic hormone called medroxyprogesterone. This hormone mimics the natural hormone found in the body called progesterone.
During a period, the levels of this hormone change, which has an effect on the lining of the uterus. When progesterone levels are high, the lining of the uterus – also known as the endometrium – becomes more viscous to provide the appropriate conditions for an egg to implant itself ready for fertilisation. When fertilisation does not happen, the endometrium is shed through period bleeding.
To help with this process, contractions occur within the muscles surrounding the womb. These contractions restrict oxygenated blood which causes the body to release pain triggering chemicals called prostaglandins.
The active ingredient of Provera is molecularly similar to progesterone and is usually prescribed when norethisterone cannot. Medroxyprogesterone sustains the endometrium and maintains the condition of the womb as if fertilisation has occurred. In turn, the body does not try to expel the lining from the womb by contracting the surrounding muscles.
Always take Provera as prescribed by your doctor. Do not exceed the prescribed dosage.
For heavy, irregular or painful periods, a typical dose would be between 2.5mg to 10mg for 5 to 10 days, beginning 16 to 21 days after your last period began. Your doctor may prescribe an oestrogen to take alongside Provera. You should experience breakthrough bleeding a few days after you stop taking the tablets.
If you miss a dose, do not take more Provera to make up for the missed dose. If you take more Provera than prescribed, speak to a doctor or pharmacist.
Provera tablets can be taken with or without food. You should swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water.
All medications carry the risk of side effects, though not everyone will experience them. It’s important to understand the risks associated with taking the medication you are prescribed. A full list of side effects and contraindications can be found within the patient information leaflet, which comes enclosed with your medication.
Possible side effects of Provera include:
- Breast tenderness or pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Hair loss
- Rash or hives
- Unexpected vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Vaginal discharge
- Weight change