Learn about your right to compensation after suffering a serious side effect like bone loss or cancer after taking Depo-Provera
Millions of women use birth control to prevent pregnancy. Its appeal lies in the convenience of not needing daily pills or preparatory steps before intimate moments. Despite this, Depo-Provera has been linked to harmful side effects, making it important to be informed about these potential risks and the legal avenues available if you experience significant complications from using this birth control method.
Were you injured after taking Depo-Provera but not sure if you have a legitimate claim for compensation?
Our Birmingham personal injury attorneys can answer your questions and help you determine if you have a strong legal case. Get started today by scheduling a free consultation.
What is Depo-Provera, and what is it prescribed for?
Depo-Provera is a hormone birth control method administered through injection once every 3 months. Also known as the “birth control shot,” it contains progestin to halt ovulation. Women who are sexually active but don’t want to get pregnant can get Depo-Provera by discussing their options with their doctor.
Some women aren’t prime candidates for other birth control or contraception methods, making the shot necessary. However, Depo-Provera is also considered convenient for some women to accommodate their preferences and lifestyles.
Who should take Depo-Provera?
Certain women are considered better candidates for Depo-Provera than others. In addition to wanting the convenience of getting a shot once every 3 months, the following might be other good reasons to take Depo-Provera:
- Avoiding estrogen. Some birth control methods include estrogen, but some medical conditions make it necessary to avoid estrogen. For these women, Depo-Provera is considered a safer option.
- Anemia. Certain birth control options may increase the risk of bleeding, which can be dangerous for women with anemia. Depo-Provera poses no such risk.
- Endometriosis. Women with endometriosis are considered good candidates for the birth control shot.
- Sickle cell. Some birth control methods are dangerous for women with sickle cell disease, but Depo-Provera is a safer option.
- Seizures. Women with epilepsy or other conditions that cause seizures can safely take Depo-Provera to prevent pregnancy.
- Uterine fibroids. Women with uterine fibroids can safely be prescribed Depo-Provera as their birth control method.
As always, whether a specific medication is right for you depends on your individual circumstances and health and should always be determined with the help of a physician.
Potential side effects and complications of Depo-Provera
Despite its overall distinction as a safe and effective form of birth control, Depo-Provera can cause the following side effects:
- Abdominal pain
- Breakthrough bleeding
- Decreased libido
- Hair loss
- Increased facial hair
- Irregular periods
- Weight gain
Additionally, some women may experience certain serious complications from Depo-Provera, particularly the loss of bone density with long-term use, which increases the risk of osteoporosis.
Other serious complications include:
- Thromboembolic disorders. Conditions involving blood clots in the bloodstream
- Breast and cervical cancer. Higher incidence rates in Depo-Provera users
- Ectopic pregnancy. Rare cases where the embryo implants outside the uterus
- Anaphylaxis. Severe allergic reactions requiring immediate medical attention
- Liver problems. Potential for mild-to-severe liver dysfunction
- Convulsions. Extremely rare but noted seizures in some users
Additionally, although Depo-Provera is meant to prevent conception from taking place, it could still happen for some women. If it does and the woman goes through with the pregnancy, there is a higher chance of premature birth.
What is the long-term risk of Depo-Provera?
Many women, especially those who are younger, prefer to take their birth control for several years before deciding to go off it to get pregnant or for other personal reasons. Unfortunately, taking Depo-Provera for several years can carry long-term risks.
The biggest risk of long-term Depo-Provera use is osteopenia, a condition that develops as bone loss begins and the bones gradually grow weaker. This can lead to osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones. As the bones grow brittle, it raises the risk of falls and fractures.
Sadly, these conditions are irreversible, but women can prevent further bone loss by taking certain medications, getting enough calcium and doing weight-bearing exercises.
When might you be able to file a lawsuit for a serious complication from Depo-Provera?
If you have taken Depo-Provera as your birth control method and experienced serious complications, you may be able to file a lawsuit for damages.
For example, if you experienced severe side effects like bone density loss, thromboembolic disorders, breast or cervical cancer, ectopic pregnancy, anaphylaxis, liver problems, or convulsions, which are directly attributable to the use of Depo-Provera, you may have a legal right to compensation.
Each case is unique, so it’s important to consult with a legal professional to understand your rights and the viability of your case based on the specifics of your situation.
Can I sue for getting pregnant on Depo?
If you become pregnant while using Depo-Provera, your options for legal action are limited due to several factors. Firstly, Depo-Provera, like all contraceptives, is not guaranteed to be 100% effective, and this is a well-known aspect of the product.
Additionally, standard medical practice requires a pregnancy test before prescribing Depo-Provera. Legal claims for “unwanted conception” or “unwanted pregnancy” exist in many states, but these are typically more successful in cases involving procedures like vasectomies than birth control methods like injections or pills.
In certain situations, you might consider a lawsuit against the doctor or clinic for medical malpractice, especially if they failed to perform necessary checks or meet the expected standard of care.
Alternatively, if there was a defect in the Depo-Provera shot itself, you could potentially sue the pharmaceutical company, but this would require proving that the product had a fault beyond its normal failure rate.
How long do you have to file a lawsuit in Alabama for a defective drug?
If you are in Alabama and have suffered serious complications after taking Depo-Provera, you have a right to file a claim against the manufacturer. Dangerous drug lawsuits can be based on defective manufacturing, failure to warn or design defects.
You can also file a medical malpractice claim if a doctor prescribed the drug to you without giving you warnings about its potential side effects and complications. In Alabama, the statute of limitations to file a claim is typically 2 years from the date of your injuries.
Suffered a serious injury after taking Depo-Provera? Get help from an experienced Alabama personal injury attorney.
To families and individuals facing the challenging aftermath of serious complications from Depo-Provera, we at Nomberg Law Firm in Birmingham, Alabama, extend our deepest empathy and support. We understand how overwhelming it can be to deal with health issues, especially when they stem from a trusted birth control method.
If you or a loved one has suffered severe side effects from Depo-Provera, our dedicated team is ready to provide you with the legal guidance and support you need during this difficult time.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your right to compensation.