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The characteristics of 232 women using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) and of 675 women using other methods of contraception were assessed. Women using DMPA were more likely to be of low social status, to be of high parity, to have had sexual intercourse at an early age, to have given birth at an early age, to smoke cigarettes, and to be overweight than other contraceptive users. Conversely, there was no significant difference between DMPA and other contraceptive users in their total number of sexual partners nor in their age at menarche. It is concluded that, as a result of these characteristics, DMPA users in the United Kingdom are likely to experience a higher incidence of cervical cancer and a lower incidence of breast cancer than other women. However, the size of the increased or decreased risk attributable to any one risk factor is small.


Journal article


British Journal of Family Planning

Publication Date





116 - 121