Depo-Provera also referred to as the birth control shot, can also completely stop one’s menstrual cycles, especially with repeated use. This can indeed be worrisome if one is not expecting it, and one may worry about whether and when one’s cycles will come back. Depo-Provera has no doubt a poor reputation online as well as infertility forums. Previous users are often surprised how long it takes for their fertility treatment in hyderabad to return after discontinuing the injections. continue to read about TTC after Depo Provera
TTC after Depo Provera
If one has stopped making use of Depo-Provera and want to get pregnant, one may have several concerns and questions. When will one be able to get pregnant again? Is it normal to take so long for one’s fertility to return? Can Depo-Provera cause such long-term infertility?
The quick answers to these questions are:
- Depo-Provera use is not associated with long-term infertility beyond two years after the last injection. Women who are still not actually ovulating 22 months after their last injection—or who are in fact not pregnant within 6 to 12 months after they start ovulating—should indeed see their doctor for a fertility evaluation.
- Many women (50 percent, according to the research) will rather be pregnant 10 months after their last injection.
- However, for others, it may, in fact, take up to two years for their fertility to return.
- After one year of injections, the average length of time for menstrual cycles to return is about 6 months (after the last injection.) This can be longer or even shorter.
What Is Depo-Provera and How Does It Work?
- Depo-Provera is the brand name for the medication depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA). It is taken via injection and does provide three months of reliable birth control. Injections are rather repeated every three months for as long as the birth control is desired.
- Depo-Provera is a progestin-based contraceptive. It does work by suppressing ovulation and thickening cervical mucus.
- Unlike birth control pills, which do need to be taken daily, Depo-Provera injections are needed only once every 90 days. This is so as the injection does create a depot (or storage) of medroxyprogesterone acetate in the body at the site of the injection.
- After the injection, progesterone levels in one’ body gradually does rise for about three weeks. After three weeks, it reaches its peak. Then, the levels of progesterone slowly decline.
- Whenever progesterone levels are rather below a certain level (less than 0.1 ng/mL), ovulation (and regular menstruation) begins again.
- Some women will, in fact, have their menstrual cycles completely stopped while getting Depo-Provera injections. In women who have had these injections for one year, 50 percent experienced amenorrhea (lack of menstrual cycles).
- This is not a sign of infertility, but simply an expected side effect of the medication. Menstrual cycles will indeed return once the medication runs its course. Usually, one’s period will return within 6 months of the last injection, but it may also take longer.
How Getting Pregnant After Depo Works—Ideally
- As long as one wants to prevent pregnancy, one needs to receive an injection every 90 days. This is because, after 90 days, the levels of Depo-Provera are not high enough for most women to reliably prevent pregnancy.
- Let us say you want to get pregnant and one discontinues injections.
- One might assume one’s fertility will return on day 91, but this is not how the medication works.
- While the levels of Depo-Provera after 90 days may not be high enough to be considered effective for pregnancy prevention, they may still be too high to be able to get pregnant.
- Some women will rather get pregnant the very first month after the 90 days, but this is not common. Most women will indeed see their fertility return within 5 to 7 months of their last injection. In other words, about two months after that 90-day period does end.
- Within 10 months of the last Depo-Provera injection, 50 percent of women are pregnant.
How will one know If one is ovulating after Depo-Provera
There are 3 ways to know if one’s fertility has finally returned after stopping Depo-Provera: having a regular menstrual cycle again, getting positive results on an ovulation predictor test, and having ovulation detected on a basal body temperature chart. (Of course, this means assuming there are no additional fertility problems.)
One regular cycles return:
Having a regular menstrual cycle is the most obvious sign that ovulation has started. Irregular cycles are a possible sign of ovulation problems. (Irregular cycles are normal when one is getting injections and just after one stops the shot.)
What defines a regular cycle?
- One’s cycles are longer than 21 days but shorter than 35 days.
- One’s cycles are consistent from month to month. In other words, one cycle is not 23 days and another is 34 days. It is okay if they vary by a few days. (Like one month is 27 days, another is 29.)
- One’s bleeding is not very light. Just spotting could be a sign that one is not ovulating.
- Positive results on an ovulation predictor test. These are ovulation tests one can buy in any pharmacy or online. They work a lot like a pregnancy test, in that one can use one’s urine to test one’s hormones. While pregnancy tests look for Human Chorionic Gonadotrop, an ovulation predictor test looks for the hormone LH. LH spikes just before one ovulate.
- Ovulation detected on a body basal temperature chart. One’s basal body temperature is one’s body’s temperature at complete rest.
- This temperature changes much depending on where one is in one’s cycle. If one is ovulating, one basal body temperature will jump up and remain higher until one gets one’s period. Then, it will drop back down and stay there until ovulation occurs again.
- One can track one’s basal body temperature at home. This is a way to know if ovulation has returned after Depo-Provera, and it can also help one’s doctor help one to find out that ovulation has not returned as expected.
Why Depo-Provera Can Cause Temporary Infertility for Up to Two Years
- But not every woman will indeed get their cycle back 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 does this actually happen?
- According to the research, the delay does seem to be related to a woman’s weight.
- Women who weigh less will have their fertility return faster than women who tend to weigh more. This has to do with how long it does take one’s body to completely metabolize the progestin.
- Take Forum Posts on Depo-Provera with a Grain of Salt
- The most important thing to know is that Depo-Provera is not known to increase one’s risk of infertility after that those 12 to 22 months.
- In other words, Depo-Provera use is not associated with an increased risk of infertility in general.
- Ovulation (and possibly one’s menstrual cycles) take a while to return due to one’s body not yet metabolizing the medication completely. Not because Depo-Provera has somehow caused a long-term infertility problem.