Prescription Options

Must-Know Facts About Starting and Stopping Depo Provera

February 19, 2018

Depo Provera, an injectable contraceptive pill, is a really effective birth control method. Before starting Depo Provera, it is important that you’re aware of common side effects, in addition to the significance of getting your Depo injections in time. Additionally, it is helpful to understand what to expect after quitting Depo Provera.

Beginning Depo Provera

In order to get your first Depo Provera shot, you will probably require a physical examination, in addition to a review of your entire health history with your doctor.

This is only because Depo Provera is considered to be a hormonal birth control method. 

Pfizer, the manufacturer of Depo Provera and Depo-subQ Provera 104, recommends that all women wishing to begin Depo Provera needs to have a physical examination that includes a blood pressure check, examination of the breasts, abdomen, and pelvic organs, pap smear, and some relevant blood pressure.

Potential Side Effects to Discuss With Your Doctor

It is important to discuss the following information with your doctor before starting Depo Provera.


There is the prospect of irregular or prolonged bleeding when using Depo Provera–and sadly, there’s no way to know beforehand if you’ll encounter this side effect. This bleeding may continue until the progestin from the depo shot wears off (which may take 11 to 14 weeks).

You might just have some intermittent tingling, or you could not have any bleeding problems in any way.

Spotting and constant bleeding is the main reason why most women wind up stopping Depo Provera. Research suggests that bleeding (including your monthly period) typically ceases for around 50 percent of women who use Depo Provera consistently for a year. After a year, this number rises to 70 percent.

Girls are more likely to continue using Depo Provera if they’re counseled about these bleeding side effects before getting their first Depo injection.

Bone Density

Depo Provera includes a black box warning that its use might cause bone mineral density loss. To help offset this possible calcium loss to your bones, do your very best to keep up a healthy lifestyle. This includes getting enough calcium, weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercises, no smoking, and moderate to no alcohol when using Depo Provera.

Studies have shown that these effects are substantially reversed once you quit getting Depo Provera shots.

Weight Gain

It’s not uncommon for your own body fat and weight to increase after starting Depo Provera. As a result of this, make sure to discuss a potential diet or exercise program with your physician. Sensible eating and regular exercise may help to minimize weight gain whilst using this birth control method.

When to Acquire the Depo Provera Shot

You should get your initial Depo Provera shot through the first five days of your period to be certain you’re not pregnant. If you receive the shot at any time in your cycle, then you should have a pregnancy test done to rule out pregnancy before starting Depo Provera.

If you get your initial injection during the first five days of your period, Depo Provera will provide immediate pregnancy protection, which means you won’t have to use a backup birth control method.

Stopping Depo Provera

You are able to stop using Depo Provera anytime by choosing to not have your next scheduled injection. It’s also suggested that you should stop Depo Provera usage after you are receiving injections for a couple of decades.

Because of the possibility of bone density loss, utilizing Depo for two or more years should be carefully weighed against other accessible birth control choices. You can completely discuss your choices with your physician.

Getting Pregnant After Depo Provera

Keep in mind that each Depo Provera injection lasts around three months, which means you’ll have to plan ahead if you would like to get pregnant after stopping Depo Provera. It takes an average of 9 to 10 months, and for a small minority of women around 18 months, to recover fertility and begin ovulating after quitting Depo Provera.

You ought to stop receiving your Depo injections about one year before you need to become pregnant. Even though it’s potential for fertility to return once your final Depo shot has worn off, getting pregnant after Depo Provera use will most likely take a while.

How to Boost Success With Education

Becoming conscious of those issues before beginning Depo Provera may help increase your success with this birth control method. Many women report being satisfied with their Depo use. They love the no-hassle nature of just needing to get Depo injections four times each year in comparison with taking the pill every day and love that it doesn’t contain any estrogen.

You may even start Depo use while you are breastfeeding. Some of the unwanted effects, like bleeding and weight reduction, are reasons why many women report stopping Depo Provera use. Being prepared and knowing what to possibly expect can help you to choose if Depo Provera is the ideal contraceptive method for you.