Provera is a prescription drug containing medroxyprogesterone acetate, a type of synthetic progesterone. Progesterone is one of the hormones that controls the menstrual cycle and ovulation, the monthly release of an egg from the ovaries. Progesterone also helps to prepare the womb lining for pregnancy and shed the lining each month when pregnancy does not occur (a process you know as your monthly period).
Why is Provera Prescribed?
Provera is most commonly used to treat various disorders related to the menstrual cycle, which are often the result of a hormonal imbalance. These disorders include irregular or abnormal uterine bleeding, amenorrhea (lack of periods), excessive bleeding and endometriosis, a condition in which cells that normally line the uterus grow outside the womb or in other parts of the body.
"Provera is most often used to induce a withdrawal bleed or a 'period' in women who ovulate or menstruate infrequently," explains Michele Hakakha, M.D., a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist based in Los Angeles and co-author of Expecting 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy. It may also be prescribed for a short period if a woman is trying to conceive, in conjunction with the ovulation-stimulating drug Clomid.