If You Are Taking Depo Provera For Birth Control, Can It Affect The Results Of A Pregnancy Test?
Depo Provera is a progestin-only contraceptive injection (medroxyprogesterone acetate injectable suspension) that you have to take only four times a year. Because it contains no estrogen, Depo Provera is considered safe for many women who cannot use birth control pills. These are women who smoke, have high blood pressure, headaches, leg pain, high cholesterol, or are over 40 years old. Unlike other hormonal birth control methods, the shot is safe if you have just had a baby and can be used safely if you are breastfeeding.
The effect of Depo Provera starts as soon as the drug is administered and stays for at least 3 months, assuring you of no pregnancy for the next eleven to twelve weeks. Isn’t that great? No daily hassles of remembering to take your pill, packing the pills on your way to trips and no tensions about missed pills.
How does Depo Provera work?
You must be wondering how this unique drug really works. Each Depo Provera injection keeps the ovaries in a dormant stage for three months, which results in no ovulation (egg release from the ovary) taking place. Since there is no egg release, there are no chances of getting pregnant. And because the drug is effective for 3 months, you have to take this injection only four times a year.
Depo Provera, apart from suppressing ovulation, also reduces your menstrual bleeding and at times may stop it completely. During the normal menstrual cycle, an extra lining is formed in the uterine wall for possible implantation of a fertilized egg. If the egg is not fertilized, this extra lining is shed from the uterus, which you know as menstruation. What Depo Provera does is to prevent the formation of this extra lining in the uterus. And because there is lack of uterine lining conducive to impregnation, the drug acts as a contraceptive. In addition, since there is no lining there is also no menstruation.
If you are taking Depo Provera for birth control, can it affect the results of a pregnancy test?
If you have currently had your Depo Provera shot, the chances of you being pregnant are VERY slim. This form of birth control has an effectiveness rating of 99.7% . If you have stopped your shots, in an attempt to start a family, you may find that getting pregnant may be a bit more difficult for you due to the side effects of this form of birth control and the fact that it can take 6 months or longer for the shot to fully leave your system.
Like all drugs, Depo Provera has some side effects and also stays in the body long after its administration. A look at the side effects and the retention of the chemical in your body can help you understand how Depo Provera might affect pregnancy test results.
As mentioned above, Depo Provera inhibits the formation of a uterine lining and hence prevents regular menstruation. It has also been found that many women on Depo Provera gradually stop having any menstruation at all over the years. This can be a difficult situation if you are trying to get pregnant. Since a missed period is the first sign of pregnancy, women on Depo Provera can find it extremely difficult to pinpoint their ovulation and hence an ideal time to get pregnant. Since knowledge of ovulation date can be difficult to assess, these women may take a longer time trying for conception.
Before starting on Depo Provera, consult your doctor about it and find out if it is a right option for you. Especially, if you do want to plan a pregnancy after a few years of being on Depo Provera, you need to discuss this at length with your health care provider. Though it is safe as a contraceptive for most women, it can make getting pregnant a little bit difficult or prolonged.
How long does it take to get pregnant after you stop Depo Provera use?
It is important to realize that once Depo Provera is injected, it cannot be neutralized or reversed should you experience side effects. Therefore, you may have to live with the side effects until the effect wears off.
Once Depo Provera is stopped, it takes an average of four to ten months from the last shot before you can become pregnant. By the end of two years from your last shot of Depo Provera, your possibility of getting pregnant becomes the same as those women who have never taken Depo Provera as a means for contraception. You should keep this in mind if you plan to have more kids in the future.