Pregnancy After Depo Provera


Did you know that the birth control revolution was established in the 1960’s? Like everything else, birth control choices for women have been growing and evolving since. Now, over 50 years later there are so many birth control methods around. For instance, back then most sexually active women took birth control pills for pregnancy prevention. Because that was one of the few birth control options available at the time, as well as condoms for men to use.

However, today the choices go beyond that. For instance, today there are a variety of IUD’s available for women who want to prevent a pregnancy from happening. Decades ago, IUD’s existed however there were not nearly as many to choose from.

Now, there is another type of birth control available which is Depo-Provera, which is also commonly known as Depo, or the Depo shot.

The Depo- Provera shot is a birth control method that is given to women who are sexually active every 3 months, which equals 4 times a year. It contains progestin, which stops ovulation from happening, therefore pregnancy is impossible. Progestin also thickens cervical mucus which creates a hostile environment for sperm.

However, you and your partner may be ready to start trying for a baby. That means the shot must be stopped if you truly are looking into achieving a pregnancy. There is an unfortunate side to using Depo-Provera as a birth control method when you are looking into pregnancy in the nearer future.

A woman may not be fertile at all for months or even several years after taking the last Depo shot. At least with the birth control pill, fertility returns fairly quickly after it is stopped. It’s a once-daily pill. Miss a pill, and you risk becoming fertile again. Depo is meant to last for 3 months at a time, so naturally it builds up in your system. Knowing that it can take a long time for fertility to come back after using Depo-Provera can make a couple who want to try for a baby quite discouraged.

That being said, what can be done if you suddenly have the urge to try for a baby and you have been using Depo-Provera for birth control? There are several steps to take in order to plan for a pregnancy after using Depo:

Be Aware that it Takes Time for Ovulation to Return

The biggest mistake any couple can take is to not be aware of the complete effect that Depo-Provera has. Yes, it is a powerful form of birth control. However, you also must be aware that it can take many months to several years for ovulation to start happening again after the last shot has been taken. If you are aware of the time it can take for fertility to come back, then you will know when to take the last shot, and know when you can start trying to conceive.

Make an Appointment with our OB/GYN

Once you ready to start trying to conceive, you need to schedule a preconception appointment with your OB/GYN. This way, you can have your annual done, have your hormones levels checked, as well as other factors that can impact your fertility. You can then discuss other steps you can take to prepare for a pregnancy.

Pay Attention to your Cycles

Unfortunately, nothing can be done to reverse the effects of the Depo shot. You really have to wait it out so it leaves your system. The first thing to notice is the length of your cycle. Your cycles will be irregular right after stopping. But once your cycle goes back to 28-35 days in length (or whatever your typical cycle length happens to be), along with typical PMS symptoms that you had gotten before you were due for your period- that alone is a sign that your fertility is likely returning. However, if you want to examine your cycles more carefully which is recommended, do the following stated in the section below.

Track Your Ovulation

As stated above, your fertility will return anywhere from several months to several years after taking the last shot. It is really unpredictable when in that timeframe ovulation will start happening again.

The best suggestion is look at the date when you had your last shot, and you can start to monitor your cycles 3 months after that date. Buying an ovulation predictor kit is not recommended at this point because they can be costly, and you could be wasting money.

The best way to start getting to know whether you are ovulating or not is by taking your temperature each morning before you even move from your bed with a body basal thermometer. If there are any spikes, take note of them and make note of the date. That is a sign that ovulation is happening. Rinse and repeat for another month, and if ovulation happens again based on noticing a temperature spike, then fertility has likely returned.

In that case, you will want to invest in ovulation prediction kits to monitor when ovulation happens more carefully. Because these kits indicate when ovulation will happen in your cycle which is a lot more helpful than finding out that you had already ovulated when the egg is going to expire within 24 hours of knowing.

Take Care of Your Health While Waiting it Out

It is never too early to start taking care of your body and making sure you are in optimal health to conceive a baby. You can certainly do this while waiting for the effects of the last Depo shot to die down and for it to leave your system.

Be sure to arrange to have a check up with your doctor if you haven’t already. Or if you did have a check up, go back and talk about your plans to start trying for a baby. Your doctor will once again assess your weight, your blood sugar levels, your blood pressure, and examine other things that could have an impact on your fertility and the potential pregnancy.

If your doctor advises you to gain or lose weight before trying to conceive, then listen to your doctor and take the steps to get to a healthy weight. Also, it may be helpful for you to have a consultation with a dietician or nutritionist. This way you will know what foods to eat, and what to avoid while trying to conceive. Cut out alcohol, and start limiting sugar and caffeine intake.

Once you have decided to stop taking the Depo shot because of having the desire to get pregnant, you will need to be aware it takes a while for fertility to return. In the meantime, do your part to get healthy, start monitoring your cycles and once ovulation returns, you can then start trying for that baby!

photo via healthtap.com

Share:

1 REACTIONS

  1. First of all I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question that I'd like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I've had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Many thanks!

    ReplyDelete