Many women take their next dose in around 11 weeks to avoid the last moment tension and stay protected.

If due to any circumstance you do miss a shot or delay till the 13th week, it is advisable to use secondary birth control methods, like a condom or a diaphragm, until you get your next shot.

During this time, it is also important for you to check for pregnancy, as receiving depo provera while pregnant may cause premature birth. 


Contraception using depo provera injection has been found to be more effective than any other kinds of birth control. It is 97% to 99.7% effective in preventing birth, though it cannot protect you from STDs, like herpes or gonorrhoea.

The affect of the hormone starts as soon as you take an injection and if you are regular in your menstrual cycle, the chances of getting pregnant are very rare.

Some drugs, such as those taken for Cushing’s syndrome, may lessen the effects of this contraceptive. Do tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking and use a secondary contraception if advised.

Depo Provera Side Effects

One of the major side effects of depo provera is the irreversible loss of bone density with prolonged use. This may also lead to the higher risk of osteoporosis in women.

Therefore, it is always recommended that you should not use this contraceptive for more than two years. Women are also advised to exercise and take in a lot of calcium while using this method.

Weight gain is another side effect that has been observed in more than 70% of women using depo-provera. The gain may vary from 5 to 10 pounds, making regular exercise all the more important.

Other depo-provera side effects include:

  • Irregular, heavy or loss of menstrual cycle. The chances of getting periods reduces the longer you take the injections, though normal cycles should resume within 14 weeks of stopping the birth control.
  • Headaches
  • Nervousness
  • Mood changes
  • Breast tenderness
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Acne
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle pain
  • Heart palpitations

It is rare for someone to be seriously effected by this contraceptive. However, there are some complications associated with its use, including:

  • Jaundice
  • Blood clots
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Infertility
  • Severe depression
  • Heavy or prolonged vaginal bleeding


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