The study aimed to evaluate the correlation between obesity and the use of depot medroxyprogesterone (DMPA) concerning weight gain and changes in bleeding patterns.

Researchers conducted a retrospective chart review of women receiving 150 mg DMPA via intramuscular injection at inpatient and outpatient clinics at the University of Mississippi Medical Centre. BMI was assessed at baseline and at the time of final infusion. Data on race, medical history, age at first DMPA injection, number and timing of injections, reported side effects, indication for DMPA use, and reason for discontinuation, if applicable, were collected.

Of the 240 women included in the study, 3.3% were underweight, 30.8% were average weight, 23.3% were overweight, 15% were class I obese, 9.6% were class II obese, and 17.9% were class III obese; 87.9% of the population were African American. Women gained 2.40 kg while they were on DMPA (p < .01), which was inversely associated with age at initial injection after adjusting for confounding variables. Amenorrhoea was the most commonly reported change in bleeding pattern.

At an earlier age, women who started DMPA gained the most weight over time, independently of initial BMI. Researchers found similar rates of amenorrhoea among all BMI categories.