Depo is a shot that contains the hormone Progesterone. Progesterone protects a woman from getting pregnant by preventing the release of an egg, changing the lining of the uterus and thickening the cervical mucous. Depo is given to a woman once every 12 weeks (4 times a year). The shot is given by a clinician during an appointment. Depo is a great method of birth control for women because it has very little room for user error. There is no pill to forget to take or a patch to replace, it is a simple injection and the only thing the user has to do is show up for the appointment, get the shot, and come back in 12 weeks (3 months). Pretty simple!
Watch this video about Depo to learn more about how it works and what to expect.
- Why Should I Use The Depo Provera Shot?
- Are There Any Side Effects Associated With The Shot?
- How Do I Get The Shot?
- What Happens If I Miss A Shot?
- Who Should Not Use The Depo Provera Shot?
- Does Depo prevent STDs Too?
Why Should I Use The Depo Provera Shot?
Depo is a great birth control method for women who have busy lives or who just need a convenient, low maintenance form of birth control. Depo is great because it leaves very little room for user error. There is no pill to take or patch to replace, all you have to do is come into the clinic and get the shot! The hormones are inside of a crystalline material that is injected either under the skin or in the muscle. The crystals containing the hormones break down in the body, slowly releasing small doses of the hormone into the blood stream. Depo does all the work for you! It is easy, effective, and convenient!
Are There Any Side Effects Associated With The Shot?
Common side effects of Depo include:
- Changes in monthly period: bleeding may be irregular and could be heavy for the first 2 to 3 months, after that time bleeding will decrease and some women may stop having a period.
- Increased appetite and subsequent weight gain: studies show that on average women gained 3-4 lbs during the first year they used Depo, some gained more, some gained less and some stayed the same.
- Skin reaction at the site of the injection: lumps, skin dimpling, or pain are usually mild and usually do not last long. Some scarring may occur at injection site.
- Loss of bone mass: within the first two years of use, studies show that women using Depo may experience significant loss of bone mineral density. While the long term implications are not yet fully understood, the World Health Organization currently puts no restrictions on Depo’s use in women between 18-45 years of age.Any loss of bone is replaced after stopping the Depo. Eating or drinking calcium rich foods can help to decrease any potential bone loss.
- Headaches may occur, but usually this side effect is less frequently seen compared to women taking a birth control method containing estrogen.
- Mood swings can occur.
How Do I Get The Shot?
Depo injections are only available by prescription and must be given at a clinic. To make an appointment to get a depo shot click HERE or click on the CONTACT US tab on the drop-down menu on the left.
What Happens If I Miss A Shot?
Depo is given once every 12 weeks. After 12 weeks another shot must be given to continue protecting against unintended pregnancy. You should not wait any longer than 13 weeks to get your next shot. If it has been longer than 13 weeks since the last shot, it is possible to get pregnant. You need to call the clinic to discuss the best time to come get the next shot and make sure to use a back-up method of birth control, such as Condoms, to avoid getting pregnant. When you do return to the clinic, a pregnancy test will be done to make sure you are not pregnant before the next Depo shot is given.
Who Should Not Use The Depo Provera Shot?
Women should not take Depo-Provera if they:
- Are pregnant, or might be pregnant
- Have any unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Have current or past breast cancer
- Have current or past history of blood clots, heart attack, or stroke
- Have active liver disease
- Have severe high blood pressure
- Have known osteopenia (bone loss)
Does Depo Prevent STDs Too?
Depo Provera is great for preventing unintended pregnancies but it offers NO PROTECTION against sexually transmitted diseases! If you are at risk for contracting STDs, you will need to take the necessary precautions to avoid them as well as pregnancy. To learn more about STDs and how to prevent them click HERE