Mar 13 2010

Depo Provera – The Injection That Lasts 3 Months

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Depo Provera (often called just ‘depo’ or ’the shot’) is an injection of birth control hormones that will protect you for 12 months. You will have to get a new shot every 3 months.

Depo is a Progesterone only birth control.

When you browse online forums, you will see two particular issues some women have with the shot:

  • Breakthrough bleeding
  • A delay in returning fertility after stopping

Both these are noted as side effects by the manufacturer.

On the positive side, it can prevent withdrawal bleeding (your period), and it is not affected by antibiotics.

Breakthrough bleeding is a more common side effect with all extended birth control. It is easy for your doctor to stop by using extra birth control pills for a short period of time.

Different women experience different effect on their fertility when they stop the injection. According to the manufacturer:

In studies, over 80% of women trying to get pregnant conceived within 15 months of the last injection; however this varied from 4 months after the last injection to more than two years. Some women have got pregnant as early as 14 weeks after their last injection

This means you have to plan ahead if you want to become pregnant. Most likely you cannot just stop one month and get pregnant the next month. It should be noted that the average time for couples to get pregnant without any birth control is 3 months.

When your period becomes regular after stopping the shot, you are very likely fertile again. If you cannot afford to become pregnant, consider yourself fertile after 12 weeks, unless you get another shot.

Your doctor should do a pregnancy test before you get the injection, and when you are later than 12 months in getting follow-up injections.

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Patient Insert USA

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