Birth Control Guide - Depo-Provera


Birth Control Guide - Depo-ProveraWhat is Depo-Provera?

Depo-Provera is an injection or “shot” of the hormone progesterone. It is given once every 12 weeks to prevent pregnancy. It stops your body from making an egg each month. You can use Depo-Provera when you are breastfeeding. It is best to wait until you have a good milk supply and you are settled into breastfeeding before you start Depo-Provera.


How well does Depo-Provera work?

Depo-Provera works well when used correctly. For more information talk to your health care provider. Depo-Provera does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections. You and your partner should use a condom.

How is Depo-Provera used?

Depo-Provera works right away if you get it within 5 days after your period starts. It provides complete birth control for 12 weeks. You must get a Depo-Provera shot every 10–13 weeks to stay protected. Follow the recommendations provided by your doctor or nurse practitioner. It can be given 5 days after childbirth, or 5 days after an abortion or miscarriage.

Are there any side effects of Depo-Provera?

For the first few months, the side effects are irregular periods, spotting, extra bleeding, or missed periods. It is normal for some women to have no bleeding at all after 6 to 12 months. Some women have sore breasts, get depressed or gain weight because they want to eat more (increased appetite). Once Depo-Provera is injected, any side effects will last until the shot wears off.

After you stop taking Depo-Provera, your body may not produce eggs again for 6 months to 2 years. You need to be aware that it could take that long to get pregnant again. You will also need to use other birth control if you do not want to get pregnant.
You should NOT use Depo-Provera if:
  • You are pregnant or think you might be
  • You have abnormal bleeding from your vagina
  • You have a family history of breast cancer

Using Depo-Provera for a long time can reduce calcium in your bones. Ask your doctor about calcium pills and foods that have lots of calcium.

Will Depo-Provera affect our sex life?

Depo-Provera works well to prevent pregnancy, so some women find they enjoy sex more because they do not have to worry about this.

How can I get Depo-Provera?


You need to get a prescription from your family doctor or the doctor at a Sexual Health Centre. Take the prescription to a drug store. A public health nurse at the Sexual Health Centre or your doctor will give you the Depo-Provera shot.
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