Getting to know Depo Provera
Depo Provera is a birth control method that is used by women. It is a progestin only contraceptive injection, otherwise referred to as a medroxyprogesterone acetate injectable suspension, which is taken by women only four times a year. Depo Provera is considered safe for most women who cannot use conventional birth control pills because it contains no estrogen, such as those who smoke, suffer from leg pains, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, are over forty years old, or have sensitivity to estrogen. Compared to other hormonal birth control methods, the shot is safe if you have just given birth and can even be used safely whilst breastfeeding.
According to WebMD, Birth control with Depo Provera begins as soon as the first shot is given within the first five days of your menstrual period and it lasts for at least three months. How worry free does that sound ladies? No more worrying about organizing your pills and taking them on time!
What does Depo Provera do to my body?
Each Depo Provera injection that is administered every three months, keeps your ovaries in a dormant state for that same period of time, which results in no ovulation. Since your ovaries are not releasing any eggs, this means that you will not be able to pregnant. Apart from stopping your ovulation, it also decreases your menstrual bleeding and can also stop it too. An extra lining is formed along the uterine wall during menstruation, in anticipation for a fertilized egg. However if the egg is not fertilized, then the extra lining is sloughed from the uterus, which results in a period. Depo Provera works to prohibit the growth of this extra lining in the uterus; and without a thick uterine lining, pregnancy cannot take hold, and the drug, therefore, acts as a contraceptive.
Depo Provera and Pregnancy Tests
Some of the side effects of Depo Provera can mimic the symptoms of early pregnancy. After your scheduled shot, you may experience loss of your period, weight gain, dizziness, changes in appetite and more. These symptoms can lead women to think they may be pregnant. While the symptoms may point to being pregnant, the pregnancy test will most likely be negative. Have no worries that this is a false negative result, because the ingredients in the depo provera shot do not interfere with the pregnancy test’s ability to accurately detect pregnancy. If your test shows a negative, then you are not pregnant. If by some chance, you do get a positive pregnancy test, you should contact your doctor. A positive result would mean you are pregnant and part of the very small percentage of women that have a birth control failure while using depo provera.
Due to how the shot works, your chances of being pregnant are very small. Studies show that Depo Provera is 99.7% effective in preventing pregnancy when the shot is received on schedule.
Stopping Depo Provera
When you decide you would like to try and get pregnant, you can stop getting the shot. Keep in mind that the statistics show that it can take up to 6 months for the shot to fully leave your system. During this time period, you may find it harder than you expected to get pregnant.
Since Depo Provera prevents normal menstruation by inhibiting the growth of the uterine lining, many women experience a complete loss of their periods for many years. This can be very difficult and frustrating situation, especially if you are trying to conceive. Without a normally recurring period, it can be tricky trying to figure out exactly when you ovulate; which makes it very difficult when you are hoping to become pregnant. Therefore, if you have come off Depo Provera, you should be aware that it could be quite a while before your body returns to normal.
How long will it take to get pregnant after stopping Depo Provera?
Once you have received a Depo Provera injection, there is no way for those chemicals to be removed from your body. Therefore you will have to deal with any side effects as best as you can. Studies have shown that it usually takes, after the last shot has been given, around four to ten months before you can try to get pregnant again. After roughly two years of being Depo Provera-free, your body should revert back to how it was before you started on this birth control.
You can try to jump start your system back into reproductive wellness by taking fertility supplements, like FertilAid for Women, to help get your hormones back on track and your reproductive system working as it should. Once your hormones are back on track and ovulation is occurring normally again, your chances of getting pregnant will increase.
Things to think about before deciding to go ahead with this method of contraception.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor and ask him to check your current health situation and explain to you some of the side effects that you could possibly experience by taking Depo Provera. Keep in mind that if you are wanting to have children in the future, that being on Depo Provera may make it harder to conceive, or that conception may take a few years.