NIU just says ‘no’ to drug

By Maria Tortorello

What do Illinois State University and Southern Illinois University have that NIU doesn’t?

One answer is Depo-Provera, a new form of birth control which is being offered at other campuses nationwide.

Depo-Provera is a hormone that when injected into women, eliminates the chances of the egg being fertilized.

Although the drug is being offered at ISU and SIU, the use of Depo-Provera is still being questioned at NIU, said Rosemary Lane, director of University Health Service.

“It is possible we might use Depo-Provera in the future,” Lane said. “However, we are still not entirely sure it is something we want to do.”

One reason the use of the drug is being questioned is because of the possible side effects of the drug, which include irregular menstrual bleeding, symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, psychological depression and weight gain, Lane said.

Like every form of birth control, Depo-Provera has its benefits, as well. The drug is 99 percent effective, does not need to be administered as frequently as other forms of birth control such as the birth control pill and does not contain estrogen.

However, Lane said she personally feels the use of Depo-Provera is not the best choice for students at NIU.

“The use of Depo-Provera would be more beneficial in an area where regimented birth control is not used, an area where it is difficult to work with population control,” Lane said. “NIU students do not fall into that category.”

Depo-Provera, which was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1991, must be administered within five days of a woman’s menstrual period every three months.

Although the drug is not offered at NIU, health service offers other alternatives for birth control, such as birth-control pills, condoms and fittings for diaphragms.