Can I Become Pregnant After I Stop Using Depo
You can become pregnant after taking Depo-Provera®. You could become pregnant as soon as 12 to 14 weeks after your last shot. It could also take up to a year or two to conceive after stopping this type of contraception. If youre planning on becoming pregnant in the next year, you may not want to start taking the birth control shot.
Remember, you can also become pregnant if you miss a dose of the birth control shot or if its late.
Delayed Return To Ovulation
Hormonal birth control methods, such as pills, implants, intrauterine devices , and injections, work to prevent pregnancy in several ways. One of the ways they work is by making ovulation less likely. Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovaries.
When a person is not using hormonal contraception, ovulation typically happens once per menstrual cycle. If a sperm does not fertilize the egg, shifts in hormone levels trigger a period.
Because people using hormonal birth control typically do not ovulate, it may take time for regular ovulation to return. Until this happens, a person may have no periods at all.
Getting Pregnant After Depo
As long as you want to prevent pregnancy, you need to receive an injection every 90 days. This is because, after 90 days, the levels of Depo-Provera are not high enough for most women to reliably prevent pregnancy.
Lets say you want to get pregnant and you discontinue injections. You might assume your fertility will return on day 91, but this isnt how the medication works. While the levels of Depo-Provera after 90 days may not be high enough to be considered effective for pregnancy prevention, they may still be too high to get pregnant.
Some women will get pregnant the very first month after the 90 days, but this isnt common. Most women will see their fertility return within 5 to 7 months of their last injection. In other words, about two months after that 90-day period ends.
Within 10 months of the last injection, 50% of women who discontinue Depo-Provera will get pregnant.
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Spotting And Irregular Periods After Depo
I was advised that should I ever decide that I wanted to have a baby, it could take a while for it to happen after discontinuing the Depo injections. I was told that it could take up to two years for my period and fertility to return to normal.
I have to say it took about half a year longer than that! I have only just had my first period after a decade of getting the injections. It was not quite normal either. I had quite a few weeks of on-and-off spotting before having what could be called a true period of any description. I had had weeks of spotting on and off about 6 months after initially coming off the injection but it was typically more off then on.
I don’t regret going on this form of birth control. The side effects for me proved very positive and to be honest I am a little scared of the complete return to my ‘normal’ periods. I am also worried that I may find it takes a long time still to become pregnant.
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Its important to also get enough sleep and limit alcohol, as these can increase inflammation and decrease the protection and repair your HPA axis. You can decrease the risk of aggravating the HPA axis by eating anti-inflammatory foodsand minimizing pro-inflammatory foods. Pro-inflammatory foods include sugar, grains such as wheat, processed snacks, and red meat. Anti-inflammatory foods are your wholesome plant foods, particularly green leafy veggies and colorful berries, as well as ginger, turmeric, extra virgin olive oil, and oily fish.
Last but not least, get a good nights sleep. Sleep is one of the most important ways to implement fixing your brain, increasing mental function and reducing cortisol levels, and therefore repairing your HPA axis.
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Nervousness Mood Swings And Depression
Some women report feeling anxious and depressed while using Depo-Provera. Unfortunately, this can continue after stopping the injections. Women who experienced anxiety before beginning the injections are more likely to see this condition get worse while using Depo.
Women with a history of mood disorders should talk to their doctors before starting Depo-Provera to discuss the risks.
What Are Signs That Depo
“Patients usually stop menstrual bleeding while on Depo-Provera,” says Dr. Mark Trolice. “If you experience a return of bleeding while on Depo-Provera, this may suggest breakthrough ovulation or an anatomic issue with your uterus, so seek advice from your gynecologist.”
In order to be sure that the birth control is fully effective, women have to get Depo-Provera injections every 12 weeks. Once 12 weeks have passed with no injection, the hormones slowly wear off over time.
Some women who want to get pregnant after stopping injections conceive in just 3 or 4 months, while others wait as long as two years.
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Here’s How To Get Your Period Back After Going Off Birth Control
Oral birth control prescriptions are handed out to teenagagers and young adults for a variety of reasons, from hormonal acne and painful periods to preventing pregnancy. Years pass and these same individuals start thinking about having kids, or maybe just want to know how their bodies will feel without the constant influx of synthetic hormones. They stop taking the pill and are surprised to find that their period doesnt come back right away, sometimes for months.
This isnt everyones story, of course. Some bounce right back and begin ovulating again immediately, or within a few months. But as more and more individuals who have been on the pill for upwards of 10 years start to come off of it, theyre caught off guard by what is technically called secondary amenorrhea, or not getting a period for three months or more after having had one previously.
Because secondary amenorrhea is such a common problem, theres quite a bit of advice floating around social media on getting your period back, particularly among wellness influencers. Supplements seem to work for some, while others end up seeking the help of doctors to trigger a period for them.
If this is something youre struggling with, a conversation with your doctor is always a good first step. Below, find some other actionable things you can do.
How Effective Is Depo
Depo-Provera® is 96% effective in preventing pregnancy, which means that about four unplanned pregnancies will occur out of every 100 women every year. Women at greatest risk of accidental pregnancy while taking the birth control shot include younger women, such as adolescents . This is typically related to human error, such as not getting your shot on time or missing a shot. IUDs and implants placed in the upper arm are considered to be the most effective forms of contraception.
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Getting Contraception During Coronavirus
If you need contraception, call your GP surgery or a sexual health clinic as soon as possible. Only go in person if asked to.
It might not be possible to have contraceptive injections at the moment. You may need to use another type of contraception such as condoms or the progestogen-only pill for now.
If you usually do contraceptive injections yourself, you may be able to get a prescription for another 12 months.
Difficulty Getting Pregnant After Depo
When the two-year mark had passed and the only change in my body was tender and painful nipples, I started reading what I could find of other people’s experiences with coming off the injection. I found a few stories of women afraid that they had been made infertile. The stories ranged from two years of no period and no pregnancy to pregnancies ending in upsetting miscarriages.
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Who Can Use The Injection
Most women can have a contraceptive injection.
But it may not be suitable if you:
- think you might be pregnant
- do not want your periods to change
- want to have a baby in the next year
- have unexplained bleeding in between periods or after sex
- have arterial disease or a history of heart disease or stroke
- have breast cancer or have had it in the past
- are at risk of osteoporosis
What To Do If You Still Havent Gotten Your Period Back
These are my best general recommendations for how to regain your period after stopping birth control, and Ive used these strategies successfully with many young female clients. Its important to address all these factors, as any one of them can be enough to disrupt menstrual function, which is a sign of suboptimal health.
Of course, sometimes this isnt enough to get you back on track hormonally, especially if you were taking birth control for many years, or if you started birth control as a method to address hormone issues in the first place. In this case, you may need some additional testing done to identify any issues that may be causing your amenorrhea. PCOS is a very common condition that can significantly disrupt your hormonal function, so youll want to discuss this possibility with your endocrinologist.
And of course working with a knowledgable nutritionist can help you identify the missing pieces in your recovery plan to ensure that youre doing everything possible to get back your hormonal health and menstrual function.
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Telling Myself This Is What Is Best For My Body
Sure eating more food sounds easy, but what goes on in-between our ears is really hard. Knowing that while I used to be 20-25 pounds lighter, that wasnt my healthiest or best self. When we reverse diet and add food back in, there is a possibility that some weight gain is going to happen. And if it does, it is your body telling you it needs to happen to get to a healthy place.
This has definitely been a struggle over the years, but the more and more I feed myself well, lift heavy weights, and have a healthy relationship with food and fitness, the more I love my body and appreciate how strong and amazing it is.
If You’re Under 16 Years Old
Contraception services are free and confidential, including for people under the age of 16.
If you’re under 16 and want contraception, the doctor, nurse or pharmacist won’t tell your parents as long as they believe you fully understand the information you’re given, and the decisions you’re making.
Doctors and nurses work under strict guidelines when dealing with people under 16. They’ll encourage you to consider telling your parents, but they will not make you.
The only time a professional might want to tell someone else is if they believe you’re at risk of harm, such as abuse.
The risk would need to be serious, and they would usually discuss this with you first.
Page last reviewed: 7 February 2018 Next review due: 7 February 2021
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Making Sure I Was Eating Enough By Tracking My Macros
When you undereat for 10 years, its really hard to break that mindset. Tracking macros has helped me so much in ensuring that I am fueling my body properly for my activity level and lifestyle. It has also helped me so much in my food freedom and learning that all foods can fit. In my nutrition coaching, I work with others to help them learn this as well.
While this approach might not be for everyone, it is a great tool to use and is eye-opening to the foods we are eating .
Benefits Of Formula Feeding Your Baby
I am going off of memory, but I do recall a story of someone who believed Depo-Provera to be responsible for their premature menopause after they came off of the drug. It does seem from my experience that this could well be possible, as my body is certainly producing results beyond what I was told could happen when I decided to start the injection.
I am not giving up hope that I may well find myself with a healthy, normal child now that I have had a heavier period . In 10 years, a lot can happen to a person and I have gone from thinking I should not have a kid to being married and confident that I could provide a loving and happy home to a child.
If this medication has had such an effect on my body as to reduce my fertility permanently it would be upsetting as the medical advice did not alert me to this possibility.
On the other hand, when I started on Depo-Provera, I did not want to have a baby and probably would have made the same choice even if I had been told that it would reduce my chance of ever getting pregnant.
Life is full of choices and once made, our choices are our responsibility. Someone who wants to be more careful in making their birth control choice that I was should investigate their options further.
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When Should I See My Doctor About Irregular Bleeding
Since every womans body reacts differently to these birth control methods, it can be hard to know when irregular bleeding is abnormal. You should see your doctor if you experience abnormal bleeding:
- And are pregnant
- And have a lot of pain during your period
- After intercourse
- And you have been using the same method of birth control for more than three months
- That is unexpected
- And you are younger than 8 years old or have no other signs of puberty and have vaginal bleeding
You should also see your doctor if you are taking a combined contraceptive pill and your periods have stopped completely during the week of placebo pills, although in many cases this can be normal.
There are treatments available for irregular bleeding that can help, or your doctor may recommend changes to your birth control method.
When Will Regular Periods Resume
The length of time it takes for periods to resume varies from person to person based on a number of factors. Stress, exercise, body weight, and overall health can all influence when periods will return and how regular they will be.
In the absence of another health condition, though, normal fertility – including regular ovulation and periods usually resumes within 3 months.
A 2018 systematic review and meta-analysis of people who stopped using hormonal contraceptives in order to conceive found that 83.1% were pregnant after 1 year.
This suggests that for most people, fertility and periods return to normal within the space of 1 year, and often sooner than this.
Other causes for late periods after stopping birth control include:
- some chronic health conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease
Even if pregnancy seems unlikely, it is worth getting a pregnancy test. With typical use, about 7% of people using birth control pills, patches, or rings will become pregnant. After stopping birth control, the risk immediately becomes higher, even if someone is not yet experiencing regular periods.
Additionally, spotting is common early in pregnancy, so light or irregular bleeding does not mean a person is not pregnant.
People who miss their periods should consider regularly testing for pregnancy until periods return.
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