Depo-Provera, also known as a contraceptive vaccine, can stop your menstrual cycles completely , especially with repeated use.This can be worrying if you don’t expect it and you can worry if and when your cycles return. Depo-Provera receives bad rap online and infertility forums. Previous users are often surprised at how long it takes them to regain fertility after stopping injections.
If you have stopped using Depo-Provera and I want to get pregnant , you may have concerns and questions. When can you get pregnant again? Is it normal to take so long to regain fertility? Can Depo-Provera cause long-term infertility?
What is Depo-Provera and how does it work?
Depo-Provera is the brand name for depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), a progestin-based contraceptive injection. It works by suppressing ovulation and thickening of the cervical mucus and offers three months of reliable contraception. The injections are repeated every three months for as long as a contraceptive method is desired. .
Unlike birth control pills, Depo-Provera should only be taken once every 90 days. This is because the injection creates a Deposit (or storage) of medroxyprogesterone acetate in the body at the injection site.
After injection, progesterone levels in the body gradually increase over about three weeks. After three weeks, it reaches its peak. Then, progesterone levels drop slowly. When progesterone levels are below a certain level (less than 0.1 nanograms per milliliter), ovulation and regular menstruation begins again.
Amenorrhea (lack of menstrual periods) is a common side effect of Depo-Provera. After about a year (or four injections) of taking Depo-Provera, 50% of women stop menstruating. This is not a sign of infertility . Your period will usually return within 6 months of the last injection, but it may take longer.
Get pregnant after Depo
Whenever you want to avoid pregnancy, you should have an injection every 90 days. This is because after 90 days, Depo-Provera levels are not high enough for most women to reliably avoid pregnancy.
Suppose you want to get pregnant and stop injections. You can assume that your fertility will return on day 91, but this is not how the medicine works. Although Depo-Provera levels after 90 days may not be high enough to be considered effective in preventing pregnancy, they may still be too high to become pregnant.
Some women become pregnant in the first month after 90 days, but this is not common. Most women will regain their fertility within 5 to 7 months of the last injection. In other words, about two months after the end of the 90-day period. .
Within 10 months of the last injection, 50% of women who stop Depo-Provera will become pregnant.
Ovulation after Depo
There are three ways to know if your fertility has finally returned after stopping Depo-Provera: do a regular menstrual cycle again, get positive results on a predictive ovulation test, and detect ovulation on a basal body temperature chart. . Of course, this assumes that it does not exist additional fertility problems .
The regular menstrual cycle returns
Having a regular menstrual cycle is the most obvious sign that ovulation has begun. The menstrual cycle lasts from the first day of menstruation until the first day of the next period. Your cycles are considered regular or normal when they meet the following conditions:
- term – Your periods last at least 8 days
- Flow volume – Lose 2 to 3 tablespoons of menstrual fluid each time. Simply detecting it can be a sign that you are not ovulating.
- Frequency Your periods usually occur every 24 to 38 days (average is 28 days). This means that from the first day of the last period until the beginning of the following period, there are at least 24 days, but not more than 38 days.
- Regularity – Your cycles are consistent from month to month. For example, your cycle lasts 27 days in one month and 29 in the next. Cycles that vary in length by more than 7 to 9 days (for example, a cycle that lasts 26 days a month and 45 in the next) are considered irregular.
Irregular cycles are possible sign of Problems ovulation . Irregular cycles are normal when you receive injections and immediately after stopping the injection.
Positive test on a predictor of ovulation
These are ovulation testing kits which you can buy from any pharmacy or online. It works just like a pregnancy test, in that it uses urine to test your hormones. While pregnancy tests search for hCG , an ovulation prediction test looks for luteinizing hormone (LH). LH increases just before ovulation. .
Ovulation detected using a BBT table
His basal body temperature (BBT) is your body temperature at complete rest. This temperature changes depending on where you are in your cycle. If you ovulate, your BBT will increase and stay higher until you menstruate. Then it will go back down and stay there until ovulation occurs again.
Can watch the BBT the home. This is a way to tell if ovulation has returned after Depo-Provera and can help your doctor to help you if you find that ovulation has not returned as expected.
Temporary infertility after Depo
But not all women will regain their cycle 5 months after the last injection. In some cases, it may take up to 22 months or almost two years for fertility to return after the last injection. Why did this happen?
According to research, the delay appears to be related to the woman’s weight. Women who weigh less will regain their fertility faster than women who tend to weigh more. This is related to the time it takes the body to completely metabolize progestin. .
How long have you used Depo-Provera not this associated with a longer period of lack of ovulation. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you have been using Depo-Provera injections for 6 months or two years. It will probably take so long for your fertility to return anyway.
If you have received the subcutaneous version of Depo-Provera (as opposed to the older, more commonly used intramuscular injection), the risk of missing ovulation for up to two years is significantly lower.According to at least one study, 97% of women who received the subcutaneous version of Depo-Provera had a return to ovulation after 12 months.
The use of Depo-Provera is not associated with long-term infertility two years after the last injection.
Interpretation of forum posts about Depo
The most important thing to know is that Depo-Provera is not known to increase your risk of infertility. after the 12 to 22 months. In other words, the use of Depo-Provera is not associated with an increased risk of infertility in general. .
Ovulation (and possibly menstrual cycles) takes some time to return because your body is not yet fully metabolizing the medicine. Not because Depo-Provera somehow caused a long-term infertility problem.
That being said, in almost every Depo-Provera thread on infertility forums, you will find women who say their fertility has never returned, even after 2 years. Sometimes they will assume that this was caused by the shooting. This is not supported by research.
Remember that infertility occurs in 1 in 8 couples. This includes couples who choose to use Depo-Provera. There will be women who cannot conceive after Depo, even two years after Depo, but this is not due to contraceptive injection. He also reportedly had problems conceiving without Depo-Provera.
When to see your doctor
If the cycles do not return or do not ovulate and it is within two years of the last injection, unfortunately your doctor can do very little to help you. You just have to wait. Which can be very frustrating.
You should contact your doctor if:
- It’s been 24 months since the last injection and you still haven’t ovulated
- Their the cycles are irregular two years after the last injection.
- Do not conceive within 12 months of ovulation (or 6 months if you are 35 years of age or older)
- You have other risk factors or signs of a possible fertility problem.
A word from Verywell
We hope that your fertility will return within three to six months of the last injection. This is how it should work, and many women become pregnant within 8 to 10 months of the last Depo-Provera injection. However, in some cases, it may take longer. If you have problems conceiving after stopping Depo-Provera, talk to your doctor.