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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.

  • Elaine Dela Rosa Fernandez

    i had my last shot on November 30, 2013 and i was 10 days late to my due date of shot.i didn’t had my period last December so i used a pregnancy test but the result was negative..is it possible that the injection contraceptive can affect the result of the pregnancy test that i used? i still don’t have my period now..is it possible that i am pregnant because i had a late shot?

    please respond asap…thank you!

  • T

    I have taken the shot for years. One of the best side effects, in my opinion, is that my period goes away. Prior to depo, I had terrible periods verging on endometriosis. According to everything I have read, depo doesn’t affect pregnancy tests. Its possible, but very unlikely that you are pregnant.

  • shellbell

    can I be pregnant while still on the shot because I have been having morning sickness I have been on it since I was 16 and I am now 25 almost 26 in may and I have been feeling sick to my stomach every morning been having mood swings and everything that I have read

  • Kiilina

    I am on the depo shot and have been for almost three years now. I knew when I got the shot that I might have some mild symptoms like I was pregnant but for the past two weeks I have been nauseated, very very moody, emotional and it seems that I’m eating a lot more. I was a few days late on getting my last shot and I had sex during those few days because I didn’t know I was late on the shot. Is there any way possible that I could be pregnant? If not, then why is the depo affecting me so differently now? Since I got my last shot I’ve been normal except for about two weeks ago I started to feel different so I am very confused. I figured if it was the shot then it would have affected me sooner. If anyone can give some helpful advice it would be so amazing.

  • Jackalyn

    I took the depo shot only 3 times a little over 3 years ago. I still have not had a period and now EVERY SINGLE ONE of my eggs are DEAD because of it. I am 20 years old and I have not had any periods since 2011 and I will never be able to have children because of this shot. I do not recommend it to anyone.

Last modified: February 10, 2013

The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.