While it is highly unusual to become pregnant while taking Depo-Provera, it is still possible. Most women, who turn out to be pregnant, conceived before the Depo-Provera shot had initially been administered. These women usually fail to realize that they are pregnant until fetal movement or other obvious signs are noticed. One of the major problems in this scenario is that if a woman continues to take Depo-Provera while pregnant, the likelihood of premature birth increases significantly. The rarity of Depo-Provera and pregnancy occurring simultaneously is well-known, especially since this birth control method is among the best available. This is primarily because the main ingredient in Depo-Provera is progestin, which can have long-term effects in preventing pregnancy.
Depo-Provera is a hormonal birth control injection that prevents pregnancy for three months after it is given. Its long-lasting effects from a single shot in your arm or buttock is effective due to its high concentration of synthetic progesterone and lack of estrogen. The method works by stopping the release of mature eggs from the ovaries, meaning that there are never any eggs present in the fallopian tubes to become fertilized by sperm.
In addition to stopping the release of eggs, Depo-Provera also alters the lining of the uterus to prevent the likelihood of pregnancy. Although the effectiveness of this method wears off as the three months transpires, the medication has the potential to remain in your body for up to a year after the shot was given. As a result, and because there are serious health risks associated with Depo-Provera, it isn’t recommended for women in a few different scenarios. Specifically, women who would like to conceive in the near future, are worried about weight gain, have a history of depression, or have gallbladder or liver disease should discuss Depo-Provera with their doctor before making a decision.
It’s also important to be aware that there are a variety of other issues with Depo-Provera if you use it for a long time and then attempt to become pregnant. As you might suspect, irregularities in your menstrual cycle are expected after long-term use. However, the common side effects of irregular, heavy, or no bleeding can be disturbing for some women. Additionally, one year of using Depo-Provera generally causes most women to stop experiencing periods. After two years of use, there are a significant number of women who will no longer have menstrual cycles at all. So, for women who eventually want to become pregnant, these long-term effects can be quite harmful, especially for women who would still like to keep track of their cycle.
Weight gain is another common concern for women on Depo-Provera. Five pounds is the average amount of weight gained during the first year of use. Therefore, monitoring your diet and eating habits is essential. In addition to weight gain, you might also develop osteoporosis. To prevent this from happening, it is advised that you take calcium and exercise on a regular basis. A handful of recent studies suggest that this problem might disappear once you’re off the medication, however this isn’t guaranteed.
If you’ve taken Depo-Provera and are then trying to get pregnant, keep in mind that fertility might not be restored for at least a year. Folate or daily vitamins that contain folate can help to promote pregnancy once you stop taking Depo-Provera. Folic acid serves to prevent birth defects in the case that you do become pregnant more quickly than you imagine, protecting you and your future child.