The Depo-Provera birth control shot could cause memory loss

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doctor giving a shot

Bad news for the women out there who prefer taking their birth control in shot form: Depo-Provera may actually cause memory loss

A new study from Arizona State University looked into the effects of medroxyprogesterone — Depo-Provera's active hormone — on rats, and the results weren't great. When the rats attempted to work their way through a water maze the ones given the hormone exhibited signs of memory impairment. Not quite full-on amnesia scale, but their ability to retain information was impacted nonetheless. These results were true even in rats that had only received a one-time dose, and the effects did not appear to wear off time spent off the medication. In other words, the memory problems seem pretty permanent.

The good news is that this problem has so far only been proven to be true in the rat population — research is now planned to test the effects of Depo-Provera on the human memory. Here's hoping the humans prove stronger than the rats on this one.