The Aftereffects of Coming Off the Depo-Provera Shot

Updated on March 13, 2018
Expert ReviewedDr. Mark Trolice, Director of Fertility Care
kirstenblog profile image

Kirsten started using Depo-Provera in her mid-20s and experienced prolonged aftereffects when she stopped ten years later.


How Hormonal Birth Control Works

Depo-Provera (also spelled Depot Provera in some medical materials) is an injectable form of hormonal birth control that involves getting a shot in your arm or buttocks every three months. It works similarly to birth control pills.

It starts to work as contraception immediately if you get your first shot within five days of beginning your period.

Depo-Provera suppresses a woman’s own hormones, preventing the ovaries from releasing eggs into the fallopian tubes. The synthetic progesterone hormone will reduce sperm fertilization by increasing the thickening of the cervical mucus and reducing motility in the fallopian tubes, so the sperm has difficulty traveling in the female reproductive tract.

The cervical mucus thickens and the uterine lining changes so that it's harder for sperm to enter or survive in the uterus. All of these changes prevent fertilisation.

When a woman stops using Depo, her body tries to restore hormonal balance and regain reproductive function by restoring normal production of estrogen by the ovaries in preparation for ovulation.

What Are Common Side Effects After Going Off Depo Injections?

  • Spotting and irregular periods.
  • Loss of bone mineral density, which can make osteoporosis more likely. This risk is greater if you have used Depo-Provera for longer than two years.
  • Difficulty conceiving. Some women become pregnant as soon as 3 to 4 months after receiving their last injection. But it takes some women up to a year or two to conceive after they stop using this type of birth control.
  • Some women find that, after going off of Depo, symptoms that they had while using the injections get worse. These side effects include heavy bleeding, extreme breast tenderness, weight gain, headaches, nausea, mood swings, depression, and hair loss.

Is Infertility a Side-Effect of Going Off of Depo-Provera?

"Depo-Provera is a strong pituitary suppressant of hormone stimulation to the ovaries, meaning it will prevent ovulation," says Dr. Mark Trolice, Director of Fertility Care at the IVF Center in Winter Park, Florida. "The longer Depo-Provera is used, the longer it will take your body to restore normal menstrual cycles. I have seen up to 18 months of no periods after discontinuing Depo-Provera and before ovulation resumes, particularly in women who gained weight while on the medication."

That being said, Dr. Trolice notes, once regular periods resume, women should have no increased difficulty conceiving, particularly if periods were regular before using Depo-Provera.

My Experience Stopping Depo-Provera

I have to say that, in my opinion, and based on the stories shared on the Internet from other women in situations similar to mine, the side effects of this form of birth control can extend way past the point of its current use and time that it takes for the chemicals to leave the body.

Spotting and Irregular Periods After Depo-Provera

I was advised (all those years ago) that should I ever decide that I wanted to have a baby, it could take a while for it to happen after discontinuing the Depo injections. I was told that it could take up to two years for my period and fertility to return to normal.

I have to say it took about half a year longer than that! I have only just had my first period after a decade of getting the injections. It was not quite normal either. I had quite a few weeks of on-and-off spotting before having what could be called a true period of any description. I had had weeks of spotting on and off about 6 months after initially coming off the injection but it was typically more off then on.

I don't regret going on this form of birth control. The side effects for me proved very positive and to be honest I am a little scared of the complete return to my 'normal' periods. I am also worried that I may find it takes a long time still to become pregnant.

Difficulty Getting Pregnant After Depo-Provera

When the two-year mark had passed and the only change in my body was tender and painful nipples, I started reading what I could find of other people's experiences with coming off the injection. I found a few stories of women afraid that they had been made infertile. The stories ranged from two years of no period and no pregnancy (the maximum length of time medically advised for a return to fertility) to pregnancies ending in upsetting miscarriages.

I am going off of memory, but I do recall a story of someone who believed Depo-Provera to be responsible for their premature menopause after they came off of the drug. It does seem from my experience that this could well be possible, as my body is certainly producing results beyond what I was told could happen when I decided to start the injection.

I am not giving up hope that I may well find myself with a healthy, normal child now that I have had a heavier period (though not as bad as I used to be able to get). In 10 years, a lot can happen to a person and I have gone from thinking I should not have a kid (barely being able to take care of myself, let alone a baby) to being married and confident that I could provide a loving and happy home to a child.

If this medication has had such an effect on my body as to reduce my fertility permanently (making pregnancy very difficult) it would be upsetting as the medical advice did not alert me to this possibility.

On the other hand, when I started on Depo-Provera, I did not want to have a baby and probably would have made the same choice even if I had been told that it would reduce my chance of ever getting pregnant.

Life is full of choices and once made, our choices are our responsibility. Someone who wants to be more careful in making their birth control choice that I was should investigate their options further.

Does Depo-Provera Lead to a Loss of Bone Density?

"While the FDA has issued a warning on the increased risk of fracture while on Depo-Provera," says Dr. Mark Trolice, "several societies, including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology believe the contraceptive benefits outweigh the theoretical risk of bone loss."

Studies also show that the decline in bone density significantly reverses after stopping Depo-Provera.

The most serious side effect is a loss of bone density that can occur over a prolonged period of use. I spent many years using the Depo birth control injections and have not experienced a loss of bone density so it seems that, though it is a serious concern, it is not a certainty. I may well have been consuming a large enough amount of calcium and I was not still growing when I started it (I was in my mid-20s).

Breast Tenderness

The unusually high estrogen levels that come after stopping Depo-Provera can cause mild to severe breast soreness, not unlike the way breasts can feel before a menstrual period or during pregnancy.

What Are Signs That Depo-Provera Is Wearing Off?

"Patients usually stop menstrual bleeding while on Depo-Provera," says Dr. Mark Trolice. "If you experience a return of bleeding while on Depo-Provera, this may suggest breakthrough ovulation or an anatomic issue with your uterus, so seek advice from your gynecologist."

In order to be sure that the birth control is fully effective, women have to get Depo-Provera injections every 12 weeks. Once 12 weeks have passed with no injection, the hormones slowly wear off over time.

Some women who want to get pregnant after stopping injections conceive in just 3 or 4 months, while others wait as long as two years.

Pros and Cons of Birth Control Pills vs. Injections

Birth control pills and injections work in a similar way. The main difference is how the hormones are delivered.

Birth control pills:

  • may be more expensive than Depo injections
  • may cause milder side effects because the hormones are delivered gradually on a daily basis
  • can be risky because you have to remember to take them.

Birth control injections:

  • are convenient because one shot lasts three months
  • can lead to extreme side effects because the hormones enter the body all at once.


What Are the Side Effects While Using Depo-Provera?

1. Decrease and Eventual Stopping of Menstrual Period

There are quite a few possible side effects of using Depo-Provera, though the only one that I experienced was my period stopping.

This is a common side effect (it seems). I found this effect to be wonderful as my periods had been intensely painful and triggered severe depression that could leave me suicidal.

2. Weight Gain While Using Depo-Provera

The next side effect that most women need to think about is weight gain. I did not notice any appreciable weight gain but it does seem like it is the most common side effect.

3. Nervousness, Mood Swings, and Depression

Some women report feeling anxious and depressed while using Depo-Provera. Unfortunately, this can continue after stopping the injections. Women who experienced anxiety before beginning the injections are more likely to see this condition get worse while using Depo.

Women with a history of mood disorders should talk to their doctors before starting Depo-Provera to discuss the risks.

Other Side Effects of Depo-Provera

Things other women have experienced include:

  • Headaches
  • Bloating
  • Hot flashes
  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Acne
  • Hair loss
  • Backache


I Haven't Started Using Depo Yet. What Can I Do to Avoid Bad Side Effects?

"Physicians can educate women on what to expect, so they're not surprised," says Dr. Nicole Swiner, a family physician at Durham Family Medicine in Durham, North Caroline, "or start them immediately on a different treatment to help continue (menstrual) regularity."

As stated earlier, women with a history of mood disorders should take care before starting Depo-Provera as these women are more likely to experience heightened anxiety while on the medication.

Is Depo-Provera the Same as Medroxyprogesterone?

Yes. Medroxyprogesterone is a synthetic type of female hormone, similar to the progesterone that women produce naturally. It is available by prescription in tablet and injection form under the brand names Depo-Provera, Depo-SubQ Provera 104, MPA, Provera, and Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate.

Will Weight-Bearing Exercises Help Prevent Osteoporosis?

Bones are living tissue, just like muscles, and they become stronger when we exercise. We all lose bone mass as we age, but women, in particular, can reduce their chances of getting osteoporosis by exercising regularly.

If you are concerned about your bone mineral density after coming off of Depo-Provera, consider heading to the gym. More and more women are lifting weights these days, so you'll have plenty of company! Ask a gym staff member for tips on developing a routine, or use one developed specifically for female lifters.

Will Using Depo-Provera Increase My Breast Cancer Risk?

Research is contradictory on the question of whether hormonal birth control increases the risk of cancer.

Some studies show an increased risk of breast cancer but a decrease in risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers among women who use birth control pills. This link might be caused by high doses of estrogen, but women in studies who took Depo-Provera, which only contains progesterone, have also been found to have higher rates of breast cancer.

I Am Miserable After Stopping Depo! Is Their Online Support?

Yes. Women who experience extreme discomfort after stopping Depo-Provera are not alone. This extensive collection of women's experiences coming off Depo may help. It includes an interview with an endocrinologist who has studied how hormonal birth control affects women's health.

I hope that you've learned something new from my experience and that this has been helpful for you!

Expert Review

Dr. Mark Trolice

Director of Fertility Care
The IVF Center
Winter Park, Florida
  • The article has been modified since this review was written.

© 2010 kirstenblog


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Chloe 6 days ago

      I have been on the injection for 3 months and ive continually had a period over a week. My acne has got worse too. So im going to come off and continue with the Pill. Will my periods and hormones return back to normal?

    • profile image

      Ms Bullock 12 days ago

      I have been on the dp shot for 19 years due to severe cramps and heavy periods. I had NO side effects and no periods. I recently turned 41 and about a month ago I stood up at worked and nearly felled on my face. The pain shooting from my knee was unbearable. As the days passed the pain has gotten worse. I was due my shot 2/4/18 and I didn't get it. Since I've stopped I am so moody and irritable. I don't want to be bothered with anyone. I am so sad and just yesterday I burst into tears for no reason. I can't shake this sadness and i dont know what to do. I have been in the bed for 2 days. Im usually a kindred spirit and out going person who is happy most of the time. I'm afraid to find out what's causing my knee so much pain. What can I do to help this hormonal imbalance im feeling?

      Any advice is welcomed.

    • profile image

      Veronica 2 weeks ago

      I have been on Depo Provera for 5 years. Coming off the injection made everything very hard. My last jab was in July 2017. I had 1st spotting in October. In December I bled for a month, twice, and I landed in a&e.I suffer with terrible headaches now. No painkillers take my pain away. And headache lasts for days, nights, sometimes a week! I had another period a month after last one, which lasted a week, so I thought that things are getting back to normal. How wrong was I? A week after my ‘period’ I stared a ‘period’ again. This bleeding is very dark, with big clots which worry me. I started my headache 3 days ago and it’s still going. I would love doctors to start advising of these possible side effects when stopping Depo Provera....

    • profile image

      Maryetta Graves 2 weeks ago

      Hi I’ve been off of depo for over 2 years and I’m still experiencing heavy bruising. Is that normal?

    • profile image

      Jahkeem smith 4 weeks ago

      Have the same problem from I come off the injection having seeing any period for 8 month now and am worried from 2017 on June until now no period

    • profile image

      Maria 4 weeks ago

      I have gotten my period the week before I stop getting my shot for one week I had no bleeding now it's after that week I been heavy bleeding for 3weeks straight is that bad

    • profile image

      MOSES 5 weeks ago

      Hi i was on Depo for 7 years now i left it last year November and got back on it January 2018, it was fine but i started bleeding is not that much but is doesn't smell Ok i'm not fimiliar with the smell.

    • profile image

      SHAWNA 5 weeks ago

      I have been on the drop for 13 years. Gained weight and now I am having severe knee problems with having to get knee surgery . To getting shots in both knees and now getting steroid shots in my heel.. I has a gut feeling about my bone density..

    • profile image

      Alysha 5 weeks ago

      I have been on the depo shot for a little over 2 years I had a bone density done about a month ago and I’ve lost some in my hips. Every once in awhile I would spot lightly for a few days but never a real period, never really had major side effects besides decreased sex drive never gained weight which I was hoping I would gain some but no luck. I have recently changed over to the pill tomorrow it’ll be 2 weeks since I was supposed to get my next shot and I’m almost on week three of my pills & now I literally get sick to my stomach/nauseous every night at the same time, I feel like my boobs have gotten bigger and they are starting to get sore, I have pains in my lower stomach sometimes. Im having symptoms of pregnancy but there’s no possible way for it. I’m just really confused if it’s just the depo shot starting to wear off and it’s the side effects it’s only worrying me because I haven’t started bleeding yet but have all of these strange things starting to happen to me. Anyone have any insight????

    • profile image

      alyssa 5 weeks ago

      i am coming off my first depo shot. im 15. i wiped and when i looked at the blooded tissue paper, there was this clumpy thing, folded together. looked rubbery and kinda like skin. ive searched it up, ive heard its normal, and that its just the lining of my uterus, but im scared?. help?

    • profile image

      Jessica 6 weeks ago

      I was on the Depo shot for 1 year at the beginning I did experience some back pain. I did gain about 14 pounds in a year. That’s the reason why I got off the shot and I recently went to the pill and everything seemed fine until a couple days ago I have been getting headaches that do not go away

    • profile image

      Camille 6 weeks ago

      I was on the Depo shot for 6 years and got off May 2017. Every month is different for me when it comes to my period. Sometimes it’ll come on one month, skip another month, and this month it has came on 3 times which will last for a few days. I decided to take a break from it only because I didn’t want to have any complications when deciding to have a baby. I never had any bad side effects the entire time I was on this form of birth control. I chose this form of birth control when I was in high school and I am currently 23 years old. I loved not having a period for two weeks, but now I’m beginning to worry after reading the comments.

    • profile image

      nicole 6 weeks ago

      Well I Decided To get off the shot 3 months ago and some way my bleeding want stop what does that mean and my breast are sore like a normal period any suggestions ????

    • Mrs  thomas 30 profile image

      Mrs thomas 30 7 weeks ago

      Hi I just posted about me having trouble with Depo shot under mrs. Thomas but anybody want to comment on my post feel free go to Mrs Thomas 30

      I would like to hear other people's stories about being on a Depo shot

    • profile image

      Mrs. Thomas 7 weeks ago

      Hi I've been on the Depo shot almost 12 years now I am getting ready turn 30 years old in week and a half and I noticed my body is changing I'm starting to have hot flashes and me and my fiance been together for 2 years and I don't have no sex drive :( . Me and my fiance been having trouble in the bedroom I want to make love to him but the problem is I just don't have the drive for it

      I am always feeling tired , my back is always hurting , I just don't feel as good as I should at my age

      My fiance is starting to worried about me because I'm starting to feel tired all the time and no energy and the hot flashes won't stop it's getting worser . My fiance been wanting me to get off the Depo shot because of my health but I don't know what to do and I don't know what other kind of birth control is out there to try

      I notice sometimes I do get very moody definitely when I getting hot flashes I just want to be left alone

      I'm very fortunate to have a good man in my life to put up with things I'm going through and I thank god every day for bringing my fiance into my life

      I just want to start feeling better and be able to do more with my fiance

    • profile image

      Rayne 8 weeks ago

      This is just the post I needed to read today! I went onto the DP around March 2010. I got shot religiously and did not miss one in seven years. My last shot was May 2017 and today is 17th Jan 2018. I got my period on the 13th Jan 2018. I am 24 years old and I was originally put onto the DP because of very heavy periods resulting in me missing school.

      These are my findings:

      - Immediate decrease in sex drive. I have been with my current boyfriend for five years and the poor man was under the impression he was doomed to a life with someone with no sex drive. As I said, my final shot was in May 2017 and my sex drive came back in Jan 2018 - with full force! One thing that is clear is I was inj free for 7 months before that part came back.

      - Moodiness/Depressions. I don't like to throw the words depression and anxiety around but I feel like a new person since going off! I have always suffered with mild forms of both and since late 2017/2018 I am just happier, more social, better moods! I notice a lot of ladies report the same thing and a lot say it is rubbish. I definitely fell into the first half.

      - I don't think weight gain was a part of it but I did gain 12kg within two years of going onto the DP. This however could be down to the fact that I left school and I was very underweight to begin with.

      - I cannot remember exactly but I think my periods stopped fully after about 6 months (2 shots). Then they stopped completely. No spotting or anything. I LOVED THIS as this is the reason that I went onto it in the first place.

      Overall I would recommend the injection to any young lady dealing with severe period stress as I was.

    • profile image

      Brianna 2 months ago

      I started the depo shot august 2017. when I 1st started I was very moody and got angry a lot more than usual. My emotions were on an all time high, like I was on an emotional rollercoaster or something. I was very tired but I couldn't tell if that was because of the shot or if it was because I had just started an overnight job with a 1yr old at home or a combination of both. I definitely gain weight, maybe about 15-20lbs within my 1st 3 months. I felt so bad. I went about 8 -10 weeks without bleeding no period I thought great but then when it was around the time to get my 2nd shot I spotted for about 3 weeks. Never went back to get my 2nd shot for 1 because of those mood swings and I didn't like the fact that I was spotting for 3 weeks. A month after when I was supposed to get 2nd shot I had unprotected sex no worries still no baby! which is a blessing to certain extent. Now I am experiencing back to back bleeding. Had light period/spotting for 8 days went off for 5 then spotted another 8 days or so. My breast stay sore, and my stomach stays bloated. I was supposed to get a period jan 12th and still nothing yet. Never was told about the complications I could experience about having a child after the depo but hey I was informed about all the complications that could occur after it either

      I look at it as everybody is different nd is going to react different to it but after 27 yrs of no birth control then I finally try it and get hit like this im ok I wouldn't recommend it but I kno others thst would

    • profile image

      zuleyma1020510 2 months ago

      I was on the depo for 4 years. I never had ANY side effects. I did not experience weight gain and I did stop having my period for all 4 years ( which I loved). I recently came off about 2 months ago for a few reasons, first, because of the bone density loss I have heard it can cause, second , I heard its hard to get pregnant after being on the depo for so long, and third, I wanted to give my body a break from the hormones. Even though I am not planning to get pregnant soon, I do not want to have any issues later on. I am back to having a period and have not experienced any other symptoms. Personally I loved the depo. I hope I do not have any long term issues in the future since I was on it for a long time. I am 25 yrs old and I live a very active lifestyle and eat very healthy . I workout about 5x a week so maybe this helped with some of the bad symptoms I've heard of people having? Although its still too early to tell if I will have any long term issues. Best of luck to everyone experiencing negative side effects!!

    • profile image

      Megan 2 months ago

      I was on Depo for 8 years, I was never advised that I shouldnt have taken it for longer than 2 years. I started taking Depo because I had really heavy periods, the Depo stopped my periods altogether, which was great. But I gained over 15kgs while on it that I am struggling to lose. I have had hip pain for the past few years that occur roughly every 3 months. I stopped taking Depo when I read about the bone density decrease and figured that was probably the cause of my hip pain. I havn't had Depo in just over a year, my period has not returned, I get really gross night sweats and headaches that last for a week every month along with terrible breast tenderness. My body is physically tired all the time. I wouldn't recommend Depo to anybody. Why do doctors not warn of the side effects like this?

    • profile image

      Beedee 2 months ago

      As i read more, it saddens me that infertility and miscarriage is a horrible side effect of the depo. I was on it for 9 months, made me have suicidal thoughts. Never had a period while on it and once they came back it was every 45 to 60 days. Got pregnant and had a miscarriage dec, 12 2017! I have a health almost 2 year old. Im a health person and no complications. I blame the depo and wouldnt recommend it to anyone.

    • profile image

      Kedia Laidlaw 2 months ago

      I've gotten my second shot last Friday,because I'm in a new relationship and not using protection. I have two children already and not considering any st the moment, but the depo made me gain lots of weight I don't think I'll go for a next shot tho. After reading about the side effects I'm having second thoughts.

    • profile image

      Torihelen90 2 months ago

      Hey ladies I’m

      So glad I’ve found this site ! I am at my wits end ! I was on depo for 9 months I didn’t go for my 4th shot in Feb I had a period all through April and then had nothing from May until September ! But since sepetember I have had constant spotting and bleeding and discharge every day is different ! Brown discharge to light brink red blood to dark brown blood I also have constant pelvic pain lower back pain and achey dull pains in my legs and thighs ! I’m

      Going for a scan next week to rule out cervical cancer I’m

      So worried I’m

      Only 27 xxx

    • profile image

      Kay 2 months ago

      I was on the depo for almost 3 years, originally got on it because I was bleeding for months and the pill wasn’t working. Never was I told all these awful long term side affects. I started out barely pushing 100 pounds size 0 jeans. Now I’m 135 in a size 5. I’m 18 now and married. We’re both wanting to start trying to have a baby. I stopped the depo shot November 28th and the symptoms have gotten worse, I’ve never had any problems with sore boobs or bloating until about a week ago. I started spotting along with sore boobs and bloating, also cold like symptoms. I feel awful!!! Thought I was pregnant, but tested negative. I have plenty of time to have a kid, just don’t like what’s going on with my body!

      This was very helpful for me, wish I would have done more research before starting the shot!

    • profile image

      Sharleen 2 months ago

      I was on the Depo shot for 4.5 years and took my last shot at the age of 24, January 2017 was the last injection I had. I have had nothing but problems ever since. I got my period within 6-8 weeks after my shot was supposed to be due (March 2017) and I’ve had a normal period ever since (great), however, the side effects have been awful and have since, not gone away. I’ve been dealing with vertigo ever since October 2015 and I’ve visited many, many doctors and finally a neurologist recommended I stop taking the shot. My vertigo cleared up for roughly 6 months, then started up again. I’ve read many reviews on women dealing with the same issues I’ve been having. I’m 25, childless, and have been in a relationship for the last 6 years. I should be thriving and I’m not. I’m bed ridden a lot, I can’t get out and work out anymore, I can’t do a lot of the things I used to do because the vertigo has ruined my life. This shot, ruined my life. I don’t know if I’ll ever get pregnant, but at 25, I shouldn’t be like this.

    • profile image

      Abbie 2 months ago

      I went on Depp at about 16 and half, got off it at 18 because my partner and me wanted that so I could try for kids in 12 months +time.

      I'm now turning 23 and still no periods, no baby's and not happy!

      Doctors claim depo has nothing to do with this. And are saying stuff like pre menopause, inferlirlity and ovarian failure.

      But can't give me a cause for it.......

    • profile image

      CJ 2 months ago

      I came off the depo a week ago after having 3 of the injections, i feel awful my stomach hurts like a constant dull ache could possibly just be a bug but my back is so sore all over ive had some mild spotting and im getting acne which ive not really had before hate the depo!

    • profile image

      Dani 3 months ago

      I've been on depo a good 6 years now and am only now starting to experience some listed symptoms like acne and back pain. Nothing else, no hair loss, headaches, mood shifts or breast tenderness tho my stomach is giving me issues which could be my shitty chef skills or painful stomach cramps. My family doctor wants me to switch to a few weeks off it until I regain a period so I don't go into a full pre-menopause and some bullshit like I need the health benefits of a period on my immune system. I'm kinda naive do I'm not sure if I should believe him. I'm looking at other methods birth control methods so I can take a break from depo and hopefully not have as difficult as time conceiving when the time comes. My go to idea is the IUD bt I'm a bit scared as it needs a surgery to put it in, and with my boyfriend's big dick bumping my cervix a good percent of the time, and a piece of the IUD sticking out, will it hurt either of us?

    • profile image

      Sierra 3 months ago

      So, I had my first depo shot February of 2017 it was suppose to expire in may of 2017 it is now december and I have not spotted or had a period since before I had my first depo shot in February I did have tender breasts and back pain but I've always had back pain so I don't think it's from the depo shot. I'm just wondering how long after taking the shot does it take to have a period? Should I be worried about anything?

    • profile image

      Aby 3 months ago

      I just want to say that I'm sorry... I hate hearing these stories about how horrible the depo was to yall.... I've been on the depo for 2 years.... I was supposed to get my last injection in October or November of 2017 and didn't in order to start coming off if it. I want to tell you ladies that the depo did wonders for me! I did have a 3 week period at first, but that could have been because I had also just had an abortion (not my choice) a week before starting the shot. After that I haven't had a period since! I have a little acne, but it only flares up if I get extremely stressed. I did gain weight but that was a combo of gallstones and the depo. After having the gall bladder out I did lose 30lbs! I hope that someone does see this and doesn't get scared from all of the negative posts! I did enjoy the depo and will end up back on it in a few years probably, after having my 1st! But I did get off in order to regulate my periods now (or as soon as I can) so that my fiance and I can start trying to get pregnant in about 2 years!

    • profile image

      Lisa 3 months ago

      I've been on the depo for 2 and a half years and have recently come off it. My periods didnt stop and would sometimes last for over a month, Everytime i saw my gp i was told this was normal for some people. I have been on a period for the last 3 1/2 months! I wouldn't recommend anyone going on the depo, I gained weight despite healthy eating and exercise, i became very anxious, nauseous and bad headaches I also got acne for the first time in my life. And after coming off the injection i have been poorly ever since. GPs and nurses should provide you with more information on the side effects and long term effects it has on your health and fertility.

    • profile image

      Nelly 4 months ago

      i had one depo shot in august 2017 and by far i felt so bad,,,i was due to go back on the 25th oct and since did not go,,,no period yet ,,cramping in legs tummy and i feel bloated and very fat ,,,nurse suggested Nordette,,,im going to give it a shot i help this helps me

    • profile image

      Hailey 4 months ago

      I got may last shot 4-5 months ago. I am already having periods again, more often than normal actually. Every two weeks it so far. And they are WAY heavier than they ever were before I used it. I got the first one exactly three months after my last shot.

    • profile image

      Anonymous 4 months ago

      I am never taking the Depo shot I’m 19 yrs old I got my first shot in August 2017 and I was supposed to get my 2nd shot on November 7 but no way am I going back the side affects where so bad I gain a lot of weight to I had no period but I would spot everyday for 2 months and I was scared tbh I just feel like my body couldn’t handle it and I’m not taking it again no matter what

    • profile image

      blaqgyrl 4 months ago

      I been on and off depo for the last 16 years. I got off of it Oct 2014. I got pregnant April 2016. Had a family crisis June 2016 and no longer was pregnant. Got depo shot again in June 2016 All the way till Mar 2017. Didn't go back June 2017. Sine then got my period Oct 22-29 And done gained 15 pounds 10 in my breast. Had a reduction In sept 2013 down to a C cup, Now back to a 34 DDD. Help will I ever get back to normal. I want another reduction...

    • profile image

      Mimi210 4 months ago

      I started my depo April 2017. I was fine the first three weeks but after that I started having panic attack and paranoia. When it was time for my second dose I decide to go through with again. I thought maybe my body needed time to get adjusted to it. But the second time was worse I had thoughts of suicide and I never wanted to leave my room. I was due for my third shot in October but didn’t go back because I couldn’t take it anymore. But now I feel bad again, my legs and breast ache. I’m crying I feel detached and depressed. Since I wasn’t on depo for very long will the symptoms subside sooner, or will I like others have them for years? Helppp

    • profile image

      Mimi210 4 months ago

      cat lady, I’m having aches in my legs as well. I thought it was from the weather change but I am only 23 so I’m not too sure if that’s it ha. I was due for the shot on the 13 but did not go back because the symptoms were intense.

    • profile image

      CatLady 4 months ago

      I had my last shot on the 5th of Sept after being on it for nearly 6 years (3years over the recommended time) and now pretty much every day my body aches like I've got a constant cold coming, hot flushes too and it makes me feel awful everyday, also my legs ache a lot too. Has anyone else had these symptoms of coming off the depo shot too?

    • profile image

      Mahogany 5 months ago

      Im 20 years old on my 2nd injection. I started my Depo shot June 2017.

      For those first 2 months didnt much change, i started my period on the exact same day each month it was much lighter than normal and lasted about 7 days, no mood swings no weight gain(which i want) and no noticable side effects.

      I got my 2nd (and last) shot on september 6th 2016. For some reason the second shot was more painful. Now i am experiencing almost all the minor side effects listed. I havent gotten one yet at all no spotting nothing. Though I have had mild cramps. I am also experiencing back-aching, nausea, break outs, mood swings, nervousness and decreased sex drive which is ok because my bf is in the navy so i dont see him again until november. We thought i was pregnant because my side effects and i am feeling much different than my first shot and they did not test me before giving me the second shot like they are suppose to, but i took a test it was negative.

      I decided to stop because I dont want to risk bone density or have too much trouble getting pregnant wen i am ready and my bf does want a baby he's been wanting one but i wasnt ready and i was hoping to gain weight and so far i have gained a little so i may be ready by the end of this depo period.

      Now i am hoping i can get pregnant and my period comes back normal and it doesnt take 2 years since i only got 2 shots. Everyones story is soii different and it really effects people in its own way. Pay attention to your body and take notes. The mood swings are the worst and can be a get out of jail free pass cause i been really moody towards my boyfriend. This article help alot. Thank you

    • profile image

      Desiree 6 months ago

      I've been on Depo for 10 years and in that 10 years I did not have a period which was amazing at the time because periods were irregular, super heavy, and super painful. I had my last Depo shot January 2016. I didn't start a my period until Aug 17, 2016 and it lasted until Sept 15, 2016. That was a little alarming, but I didn't worry too much. Period started again October 7, 2017 and was a normal 5 day long cycle and since then my periods seem to be regular in length and timing. I have not been on any birth control since my last shot in 2016. No pregnancy yet and though I've read could take up to 2 years for pregnancy to be possible I am in that situation where I am worried I won't be able to at all.

    • profile image

      Mabundajoyce 9 months ago

      No more depot for me I'm going through rough time because of depo

    • profile image

      meme123 13 months ago

      So I've taken deep about 3 times each time i got the shot i waited a couple months after it expired before getting the next round.

      1st time i tried the shot I had my period for almost 3 months strait.

      2nd i had low sex drive and and over all felling of unwellness as well as lingering periods that lasted a bout a month.

      I took a break from depo and tried the sponge....i don't recommend it unless you are used to having a smelly oder. Ive never had that problem so I will never go back again it just made me feel and smell disgusting.

      Im about to try depo again and Im horrified I may be making a poor choice but getting pregnant is not an option for me right now. Abstinence is not an option either.

    • profile image

      Hayley 3 years ago

      I found this while searching for information about break-outs after coming off of the shot. I've only had the shot once, Just came off of it a month ago, I believe I am ovulating again already, and it would be the first time I suppose in over three months, but I have never had such horrible, terrible acne. It's so painful, too! I've always had issues with acne, (hormonal,) and this is the first time I don't even want to leave the house because of it. But I'm a mother, and I don't really have a choice. haha I personally don't think I'll be taking this again, based on my experience, (bleeding nonstop for a whole month, acne, etc.,) and especially now, reading about potential fertility issues.

    • profile image

      Marie 4 years ago

      My doctor put me on depo after having my baby,but forgot to tell me it hurts your bones when mine are so bad already. And he is my go so he knows how bad my bones are from my illness. Doctors really need to tell you these things .

    • profile image

      el 4 years ago

      I to have been on this shot for a long time started around middle school and I'm now 22. I haven't had any serious side effects. Only decreased sex drive. I'm still a virgin maybe this is why.. I do have knee pain that started last summer and docs still can't figure out why. I also have pain in my hands and legs, neck and back. Idk if this is because of the depo. i do know that i have tendinosis of the quad tendon. I was told this was do to extendious exercise from going to boot camp. Maybe it is this shot that is all my problems. Should i go off of this shot with all the horrible side effects i have herd off people coming off it or stick with it?

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK

      tg, you will need to ask your doctor about alternative birth control, what to try and when to start it (right away or not) but my experience is that after a decade of no periods, they don't come back that fast. Even when they do, it takes time to go back to 'normal' ie, how long they last, how regular your periods come and how heavy. I appreciated how long it took because I could get back into the rhythm of having a period but wanting a child it was also frustrating. Put it this way, you may not need to buy too many tampons/pads for a while yet.... :D

    • profile image

      tg 5 years ago

      ive been on the shot for over 10 years the drs want me to come off bc a bone density test came back bad.. im scared to come off and do not know what to expect.. and should i start a different birth control right away? im thinking seasonale bc of the fewer periods.

      i never gained weigh, i only spotted the first month of getting the shot and never after that! 10 years without a period! i woudnt come off if they said my bone density was fine! im so sacred! i feel like a teenager again.. getting ready to start her period for the first time!

    • profile image

      Terrinesha McClellan 5 years ago


    • profile image

      blair 6 years ago

      when I was 16 I had periods that lasted 3 weeks every month and the cramps and mood swings were horrible so I got on the depo to help. I never had a period the entire year I was on it and only gained maybe 20 pounds. I got off of it because I started becoming depressed and after I stopped taking it everything returned to normal immediately. I am now 20 and have had two babies and decided to get back on it. I got my first shot september 23 2011 and I also started my period that morning before I got it I never stopped bleeding. some days is bright red other days its a dark brownish red. I will not get another shot. my dr told me that after 2 weeks of not receiving my second shot should return to normal bit its been a month and a half and no change. my husband and have been trying to get pregnantbecause my first baby was born at 24 weeks and only lived 6 weeks. sowe reallywant another child. for the last two months I have been feeling pregnant but I'm not and its very frustrating and upsetting to think that we may never be able to haveanother child

    • profile image

      AD 6 years ago

      Very helpful! Thanks so much, just stopped using and your story is encouraging!

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

      swithoni - I cannot say for sure how long it will take but from just one shot you seem to have had one bad reaction. Have you talked to your doctor about this because your reaction seems extreme? I would think it is a good idea just in case. In theory you may start to feel more normal around a year after your last and only injection but if there is a reason for your extreme reaction I would hate to say for sure. I hope your doctor can help a little more, especially if you have a hormone imbalance now (even if a temporary thing, they should still help you with it).

    • profile image

      swithoni 6 years ago

      I got my first injection ever on august 22 on my buttocks that hurted like crazy. and i decided no to take it any more never got my period in september nor october.and by november i was getting all the side effects headache, gained weight i felt like i was pregnant,hungry like a cow and nauseous had many mood swing depo completely changed my hormones. so by the end of november i was getting sore nipples very painful and i didn't go to get my shot on nov 21 so i started spotting for a week then stopped then i got my period on dec1 and im still spotting and bleeding alit. my period is very irregular. I just want to know if it will get regular soon cause i just had one shot in my whole life? and how long will it take for my hormones to become regular again like before depo? has any had this shot just once?

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

      karia - I did not feel that way myself, you may have some sort of bug and I would think that either way you probably should see your doctor and have a word with them. If the depo is the problem then you might need something that would normalise your hormones and of course if you are sick at least you would know :D

      I have heard a few people say that their doctor put them on the pill simply because it can help to normalise their cycle and if your unwell feelings are to do with the depo shot then it could be a hormonal thing that the pill might help with.

    • profile image

      karla 6 years ago

      i just came off the depo shot about 3 weeks ago. all ive wanted to do is sleep and been very sluggish. on top of that my stomach has been hurting a little aswell. ive been on the depo for 2 years. im not sure if its the depo or if something else wrong with me. did any one feel the same?

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

      Jessica - Sorry I didn't see your comment earlier! It sounds like you are in a similar place to me 2 years ago or so. I spent ages where the closest I came to a period was a little bit of spotting. Unlike you, my doctor isn't at all worried or concerned and says it's all normal (yeah right!). I am getting fairly regular periods (tho the time between each seems to often be shorter then it should be, then a longer stretch without gets my hopes up only for my period to hit a week or so late). I also find that even tho I am having somewhat regular periods, they don't last as long as they used to and aren't as heavy. I assume my body is STILL resuming a proper cycle. I have a number of times now also gotten sick for no reason and wondered if it was morning sickness, only to have my period arrive within a few days. It's so hard when you get your hopes up and then, nothing!

    • profile image

      Jessica 6 years ago

      I am dealing with the same issues that it seems most everyone is dealing with. I was on depo from March 2006 to October 2010. In May 2011, when I went in for my annual, my doctor was concerned that I had no indication of my period returning. She put me on birth control. It is now 5 months later and my periods have no returned. I do, however, spot very lightly for two days each month during the non-active pills. My husband and I want to start trying to conceive. I feel pathetic that every month I hope and pray that I will get my period. I, like many other women here, am worried that I ruined my body by using depo. I am a proud anti-depo activist to any and all female friends and relatives. The struggle to conceive is so frustrating and I know I just need to give it time but I just keep thinking, I'm not getting any younger.

    • profile image

      Julie 6 years ago

      I was on Depo for over 3 years and decided to go off of it because I had continuous HEAVY bleeding for 2 months. I lost all desire for sex but gained 20 pounds. I have switched to the patch but haven't had a period yet (only been on the patch for 1 month). My nipples are very tender and I spend all my time worried that I am pregnant but worry if I take a test I'll get a false positive. I originally went on Depo because my periods were so heavy and painful. I will always regret this decision as I had to take prescribed medicine to stop the bleeding once I was off of it.

    • profile image

      Boogielee 6 years ago

      I have decided to stop depo provera after 16 years straight! Not a single break,i'm 40 this year and was diagnosed with osteoporosis 5 years ago.

    • profile image

      Amanda 6 years ago

      I was on the depo shot from June 2010 till June 2011. I was supposed to get another shot in June but I wanted off of it. It didn't take very long for my periods to start, but now I have been on a period for 6 weeks. It has been mostly spot bleeding with a few times of heavy bleeding. The cramps are terrible though. I still have lingering side effects from the shot and am having a hard time losing the weight I gained while on the shot. I thought it was nice not having a period at all for a year, but now I have had half a years periods in 6 weeks. I also worry about having kids and a normal period.

    • profile image

      ckay 6 years ago

      i have been off depo for a month still have not had a period at all is that normal i was scared i was pregnant already

    • Cagsil profile image

      Cagsil 6 years ago from USA or America

      Hey Kirsten, I've heard people have different side effects from the normal, considering all each person's body handles things differently. But, I certainly hope that if you want a child, that you are able to have one. You seem to be a great person and would make a great mom. Good luck going forward. :)

    • New 2011 Mom profile image

      New 2011 Mom 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      this is my short article I wrote. It had to be short because at the time I wasn't feeling so great because of the shot.

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

      New 2011 Mom, I will have to keep an eye out for your hub, maybe you will post a link here when its published?

      I spent like 10 years on this injection and am now very worried I might not be able to have kids even with my periods FINALLY going back to something like normal (still don't get the debilitating cramps like I used to so not completely normal, for me). I hope if anyone out there is considering this birth control that they find this and similar articles, its good to be as informed as possible when taking any drug and with this one, it seems very important indeed (being able to have kids is huge).

      tiffany - I hope that your body can recover from the depo, maybe if you weren't taking it for as long...? I got my fingers crossed for ya!

    • profile image

      tiffany 6 years ago

      i have been off the depo for six months and still no sigh of a period. I am as many of you are worried my period will never be the same again and most of all that i may never get the chance to have children. i also regret taking the depo

    • New 2011 Mom profile image

      New 2011 Mom 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Since(what it seems like) you like to read up on stories about this birth control you should watch for my hub I will be posting in a short while. My doctors, after having my dauhgter, basically forced this on me. I'm having so many side effects that I have to get off of this almost immediatlly. Great hug by the way!

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

      ayanaboo - I have been off the stuff for 3 years now and while my cycle is back to normal (mostly) I am still struggling to get pregnant :(. Considering I am struggling to quit smoking I am not as upset as I would be but I am still worried that I might not be able to at all and hope with time a family that is typically very fertile will help me recover....

    • profile image

      ayanaboo 6 years ago

      the worst mistake of my very short life was taking the depo shot!!! i took for no period and/or a lighter period. my first shot i was on my period almost a whole month!!! my second and last shot i wass always spottiing!! fianly i had made up my mind to get off the CRAPPP!! and have had a period for almost 2 months!!i am so tired of having a period im thinking of getting a historectomy but of course im too youmg :(

    • ptosis profile image

      ptosis 6 years ago from Arizona

      Depovera is used for chemical castration on men for imprisoned rapists in a Europe country - has the same effect on woman - no sexual desire whatsoever. ( I used it and didn't know that until after the shot wore off)

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

      hersheychocolate - I think you are probably wise to try the pill, I have heard that it can help kick start a normal cycle again from a few sources (when you come off depo and it is not leaving your body in the time frame it is supposed to, one year was so not enough, more like three years). I do think they are giving this stuff out without actually knowing the full side effects possible. I wonder if it takes so long to leave my system and allow me to have a period again if it ever really leaves? It's a bit worrisome.

    • profile image

      hersheychocolate 6 years ago

      kirstenblog - I would give anything to have back my old cycle with the terrible pain and all then to have this on and off bleeding, wearing pads everyday because you are spotting etc.. at least that was for 4 -5 days and I knew when it was coming.. now all I do is wear pads everyday and wonder is this a cycle or not.. I'm just hoping to get some normality and for this break through bleeding to stop.. I have one more month to go when this horrible stuff will be out of my system, NEVER NEVER again would I try this or recommend anyone it just didn't work with me.. I haven't ahd skin problems or weight gain but the bleeding every other day is terrible and I spend so much money on pads its crazy.. thank god I am not in a relationship I can imagine the affect it would have on that and to be honest I wouldn't want to be intimate not with all this on and off bleeding.. the stuff needs to be taken off the market or ALL the symptons need to be listed and given to you.. I was not award of all the symptons but lord knows if I had read this blog before I never would of let that stuff in my body.. somoen mentioned that birth conttol pills would help regulate your cycle and help with the bleeding, I am going to check with a doctor about this.. if I get any sort of normal cycle in April I would start birth control if it will help with getting back to regular or close to it..

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 7 years ago from London UK

      hersheychocolate - I totally had painful cramps before I tried Depo. Mine would last 5-7 days with a week of spots and mood swings before it hit, a week of debilitating pain, then a week of recovery from it all! I thought depo was a blessing when I first started it because of how it 'normalized' me. It is about 3 years off now and my periods have finally gotten back to a normal cycle (so far the pain is more manageable then it used to be but the skin problems are back, yikes!). What gets to me is that they say it takes a year or so, not 3+ years to get back to normal. It is a big reason to not take the stuff.

    • profile image

      hersheychocolate 7 years ago

      I had my last depo shot on jan 21 2011..which was my 3 shot. I tried to stick it out in hopes that the off and on bleeding would stop but it never did.. I went onn depo because I had very bad cycles and a lot of pain, but my cycle would last only 4 days and it was regular. now I'm not sure how it will be as this off and on bleeding I'm not sure if it's a cycle or not.. Now I feel what I'm having is a normal menstrual cycle because it feels the same before I had the shot.. all i can do is wait and see if I have another cycle like this in april.. once I get some type of regular cycle I will go on the pill. I will never recommend Depo to anyone from my experience it just wasn't for me..has anyone had any of the same problems as myself?

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 7 years ago from London UK

      Clare - thank you for sharing you experience here. I do hope that this article might be of help to anyone thinking about trying this form of birth control as it does seem there are more things to consider then I was told when I started using it.

    • profile image

      Clare 7 years ago

      Great article. I have used the depo, 5 years ago after having my son. But I don't recommend it. I experienced bleeding inbetween periods which was quite heavey at times. Blood pressure , and pains in my ovaries that was very harsh. I was really worried and decided to stop taking the injection. It took me another 3 years to fall pregnant after stopping the injection which was quite worrying for me.

    • profile image

      Naomi 7 years ago

      I wish i would have read this befor i chose to take it!

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 7 years ago from London UK

      childlesswonder - I am really surprised they gave you the shot without a consultation or express consent! That is shocking. You could have grounds to take legal action for treatment that you did not want and would not have agreed to? I don't know how a case like that would work but it could send a message about forcing the injection when its not wanted.

      TryingtoConceive - It sounds like you are in a similar situation to me. Its been over 2 years off the stuff and I can finally say that my periods are back and almost normal. It is worrisome now because I think I should be able to conceive now and if I can't.......

      I do think that this 'treatment' needs more explanation of potential risks when being given. I think all the comments so far goes a long way to proving this.

    • profile image

      TryingtoConceive 7 years ago

      I was on the depo shot for about 2 years when I decided to go off it. I had gained a significant amount of weight. I could not seem to lose the weight either no matter what I tried. I spoke to my doctor about this and she told me she would not put me back on the pill because she insisted I had high blood pressure. I had gone to my family doctor and my blood pressure was fine. She thought it better for me to stay on the shot and basically continue to gain weight. She refused to change my birth control so I decided I was stopping the shot. I could not continue to gain weight because that would lead to high blood pressure among other things!

      I have been off the shot for close to 4 years now. I think I got my first period about a year and 7 months after going off the shot. I have gone months without getting a period. I then got a period every month for about 4 months straight with very heavy flow. The last 2 months I've had spotting and cramping here and there, but no real period.

      My husband and I are trying to start a family as well. We've been trying for about 7-8 months now. I sincerely hope that being on the shot has not eliminated my chances of having children.

    • profile image

      childlesswonder 7 years ago

      I had one depo shot when I was 20 yrs old. gained 50+ lbs in 3 mos. and haven't been able to get them off still...I am now 34. My periods have practically stopped and I am now seeking infertility treatment. To top it off I didn't even ask for this birth control. Planned parenthood decided to give it to me immediately after an abortion. Stuck it in my arm and said it would last 3 mos. Don't opt for this drug, it may ruin your life.

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 7 years ago from London UK

      hello mickey - Only 3 weeks! You are lucky! It took me closer to that many years for a real period.

      I do think that they might finally be stabilizing now tho. There is some semblance of a cycle emerging now. I am also hoping that I might be able to use a pregnancy test (assuming I get the idea that its possible I have gotten pregnant) without getting false positives. The hormones in the injection will give false positive results as they 'trick' the body into thinking it is pregnant.

    • profile image

      hello mickey 7 years ago

      i actually have been looking for what to expect when coming off depo. so thank you.. the last day of my depo shot window was dec 1st.2010 and 3 weeks later i got my period, although i am worried that like you, i might not have a normal period. only time will tell i guess

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 7 years ago from London UK

      kboo1 - I know where you are coming from, I have been off the stuff for I think three years now (wow) and my periods have only really just started again. My last one took like three weeks, half way through I thought it was almost over as it got very light, then hit harder then before with worse cramps and a heavier flow. I am not getting totally discouraged until my period gets back to normal, it seems to be a very very slow process. My husband and I both hope to have a child soon but I just am not going to get my hopes up for a while yet. I really do hope that it is a case of it takes ages for the hormones and such to go back to normal, if I hit menopause early then I will know I it ruined my chances for a baby.

    • profile image

      kboo1 7 years ago

      I regret using the depo shot because now that i am trying to have a baby i cant!!

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 7 years ago from London UK

      earnesthub - thanks for the compliment, coming from a skilled writer like you it is high praise :)

      When I first stopped taking the injection I wanted to know everything I could about what to expect and found there just wasn't enough, its nice to help contribute to what's out there for the next person to go through this experience.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      What a great hub! Personal experience is a great educator and I feel this is a very good hub full of useful data.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      I won't be using this, of course, but I can have more sensitivity. Thank you!

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      An informed mind makes better decisions...