Sexual and reproductive health

WHO Statement on hormonal contraception and bone health

Weekly epidemiological record

World Health Organization

Weekly epidemiological record

Publication details

Publication date: 2005
Languages: English and French
WHO reference number: 2005, 80, 297–304


  • Statement
    English and French.
    See page 6 of record

Steroid hormonal contraceptives, including oral contraceptives, injectables and implants, are highly effective and widely used. These contraceptives have important health benefits, including contraceptive and non-contraceptive benefits, and some health risks. For most women, the health benefits of use clearly exceed the health risks. Questions have been raised regarding the association between use of one particular hormonal contraceptive, depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), and the risk of bone loss. In response, WHO convened a consultation in Geneva, on 20-21 June 2005, to assess current evidence on the relationship between the use of steroid hormonal contraceptives and bone health.

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