Getting Pregnant After Depo-Provera

Depo-Provera is a form of birth control that is taken in one dose as a shot that lasts for three months. Many women prefer it because not only does it alleviate the stress of worrying about taking a pill, it also has a success rate of 99.7%.   However, because it has a longer-term effect than a birth control pill, many women also worry about getting pregnant after they stop getting shots.  If you are planning a family it is important that you are aware that fertility after Depo-Provera is not the same as fertility after stopping the pill.  

Getting Pregnant After Depo-Provera

Depo-Provera prevents pregnancy by stopping the ovaries from releasing eggs.  It may take up to one year to get pregnant after your last Depo-Provera shot, so be prepared. Although you must get the shot every three months, the average amount of time it may take for Depo-Provera to leave your system is 12 months.  In some cases, it may take even longer. There is no way to rush the process so just sit tight for the next year and take the extra time to prepare your body, home and finances for the new addition to your family.  If you are thinking about getting pregnant in less than a year, the birth control pill would be a better option for you to prevent pregnancy until you are ready to conceive. Most women’s cycles return to normal immediately after they stop taking the birth control pill. 

How will I know when I am ready to get pregnant after Depo-Provera?

Since it is different for every woman, it is difficult to say precisely when your cycle will return to normal after stopping Depo-Provera, so it is a good idea to talk with your doctor about your plans to conceive. Your doctor can help you figure this out by checking your hormone levels regularly to see when they have returned to normal. You may also start tracking your cycles to see when you begin ovulating again. Just keep in mind that you may become pregnant during the first cycle of ovulation –and sperm can live in the body for up to five days– so by the time you realize that you are ovulating, you may have already conceived. 

Is it possible to get pregnant while on Depo-Provera?

Although highly unlikely, it is possible to get pregnant while on Depo-Provera. Fewer than one out of 100 women will get pregnant each year if they take the Depo-Provera shot every three months as directed. Six out of 100 will get pregnant if they do not take the shot every three months as directed. If you get the shot within the first seven days after the start of your period, it will work for the current cycle. If you get the shot within three weeks after giving birth or within five days after a miscarriage or abortion, it will begin working in that cycle. Otherwise, it will begin working within the next cycle. 

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