After the birth of my son about 6 years ago, I got the shot. I was on it for about 9 months. I know some people love it and have no problems, but I am finally just starting to feel like I am back to normal. I had night sweats and hot flashes for a long time and just didn't feel right. My doctor told me that it basically puts your body in menopause and I had a lot of menopausal symptoms that took forever to go away.
I have heard a lot of horror stories about depo, but like many things, you usually only hear about bad experiences, never about the millions of women who have great results. I personally switched to depo from the pill after I started taking a medication that decreased the pill's effectiveness. I absolutely love not having to think about BC except every three months, and as a bonus, I don't get my period, so I avoid all that hassle and the expense of tampons. pads, etc. I do know that it can take a while for your body to adjust after you stop depo, so if you want to get pregnant, my gyno said you should replace the depo with another method of birth control about a year before you want to conceive. In rare cases depo can make women need quite awhile to get pregnant, but who knows if this wouldn't have happened anyway, as some women are naturally less fertile than others, especially as they get older. I really wouldn't worry about it if you're not planning on having children for awhile and haven't experienced any side effects. Almost all the women who complain about depo being evil and terrible had bad side effects all along, especially weight gain, which as we all know women hate, so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of their hostility toward depo is because they got overweight on it--of course they blame the depo rather than overeating, lack of exercise or age. I'm not saying depo doesn't cause weight gain or other side effects for some women, but so do all the other methods of BC and just about every medication out there. If you like depo and don't have any problems, I really wouldn't worry--according to my gyno, who is a fertility specialist, the only problem with depo is that it can take awhile to get pregnant after stopping it. But if you plan ahead, this really shouldn't be a problem at all. Good luck!
I don't agree at all with the post above. First of all, I was one who took Depo after the birth of a child, and absolutely loved it. I loved it so much, I stayed on it for 2 years. I had no periods, and like you said.......you only have to worry about 4 times a year. It was when I went off it to conceive my next child that all of my problems began. It took me 2 years to conceive. I only succeeded because of going on fertility drugs. The reason I say that was my only chance at conception is because my period had NOT returned at ALL up until that point (2 years after stopping Depo). Once I did conceive, which was 4 months after starting Clomid (fertility drug) and after the birth of my son, I went back to the same routine............still no periods. I did not get my first period until I was off of the shot for 5 years. So, if it weren't for the Clomid I was on (which forces a woman to menstruate), I would NOT have conceived. Now, it has been over 8 years since my last injection, and I still do not have a normal menstrual cycle. I had none of these issues whatsoever prior to Depo. I was able to conceive (had done so twice before Depo with no problem), and I NEVER had an irregular menstrual cycle. Then after Depo..............BAM..........nothing but problems that I STILL have today!!!
So, to make a judgement by basically saying that all of us Depo users that have had bad experiences was mostly because of the weight gain, and we were simply upset about that fact. No, I was more upset when I couldn't get pregnant, and I know that Depo is what screwed me up!!! And no, age wasn't a factor for me. I was 21 when I got off the shot, which is by no means a little on the aged side for being fertile.
If the only problem with Depo is that you cannot conceive easily after using it, then why is there a new warning that the FDA recently issued about Depo causing bone density loss????
My doctor has even told me that the Depo is most likely the source of my problems. My doctor has seen my exact problems in MANY other patients. My doctor is a Reproductive Endocrinologist that practices at one of the best medical facilities (Mayo Clinic) in the US and has done studies on Depo and won't recommend Depo to anyone.
Not only that, but one other use that Depo has is to chemically castrate sex offenders. Why on earth is this same drug being injected into fertile women as a means of birth control??? Think about that!
So, basically to answer the original posters questions. Long term effects? Well, for me............over 8 years later since my last injection and I am still under the effects of Depo.......my periods are still very irregular. I get a few a year, and that is it. As for getting pregnant while on Depo??? Well, if you are anything like me, you'll be lucky if you can get pregnant after you get off of Depo? Are you willing to risk it any further and see if you have a good experience or a bad experience such as mine and the countless other women out there? Yeah, many many women have good ones, but for the many, many that have bad experiences..........are you willing to live in our shoes if you happen to have the same luck as us? You'll have no choice if you continue down the road that we chose. But, you have a choice now!!!
I went to my doc a few months ago. I've been on the shot for a little over two years. She said I HAD to go off of it because it's shown to cause bone density. I begged her to let me stay on it because I love it! I had no choice, so now I'm on the pill again. She told me that people who are on it for two years will have to be taken off. It's really hard for me to remember to take a pill every morning now after not having to do it for so long but I'd rather do that than have to worry about my bones, lol. I'm only 22 btw. Has anybody else HAD to switch?
I HAD to switch, too. My doctor basically wouldn't take no for an answer either. I loved it because I hadn't had my period in over two years. In her exact words, she said, "sorry for giving you your period back, but I don't want you breaking your hip when you're 50". And just reading some horror stories on these boards makes me glad I did stop it. So I switched to the patch. The hormone switch made me sick at first, but I guess that's better now. I don't really like the patch itself - it gets fuzz around it, I'm always worried it's peeling off, etc. No big worries though. That's the best thing for me because, like you, I can't remember to take a pill every day. Good luck with everything!
There is some really good information on depo on the FDA site, it tells you all the possible side effects it may have on your body.
I was on it for 5 years and whilst i was on it i loved it, but now im ttc and hate it, i have been off it since march 2004 and have been unable to concieve as yet, however it is stated that it may take 18months to get out of your system - it could obviously take longer. I have heard of people getting pregnant whilst on it but not many.
i am shocked after reading some of these posts...there is absolutely NO WAY a dr. can force you off a medication and onto another....he may refuse to prescribe it again, but couldnt you have gone somewhere else to get it prescribed?? ive been on depo for 2.5 years and my dr. very happily continues to give me the shot every three months...as long as you are aware of the risks, it is your choice which medication you take, not your doctors...
If you use the search function on this site, search (Advance search. Use the search for all boards) for Depo, alot of threads come up. There was one on the womans health board (it may have been moved to this board) that gives you alot of insite on personal experiences.
Believe it or not, this particular thread that I am replying to right now is one of the more positive ones.
Depo was something that I was interested in checking out until I read what some people were experiencing. I can't afford to take some of those risks.
Like one poster said, you can read alot of negative but there are just as many positive experiences that you don't read about.
Happy Holidays !
Last edited by NYCityGirl; 02-13-2005 at 07:12 AM.
hi.ive been on depo since 1993 after my second child.i know that everyone is different,but for me it has been brilliant.no periods,only slight spotting sometimes when my jab is due,and i only have to remember every 12 weeks or so instead of every day.i went back on the pill for a few months at the end of 1999 because we decided to try for another baby,and he came along at the end of 2000.i went straight back onto depo and have been on it ever since.There is a higher risk of osteoporosis later in life(i have been told) but my nurse has said that i can stay on depo,basically as long as i am happy. Good luck with your depo only you can decide what is right for you.
I had been taking depo for one and a half years. Then I read about women taking long to get pregnant so I stopped taking it May 2003 and we just used a condom. We started trying to get pregnant about June 2004 and up till now I still have not been able to get pregnant. While on depo, it was the best thing. No periods and not having to remember to take a pill every day, it was great but I don't think it's worth the anxiety of having to wait so long to get pregnant. Time is going and I'm not getting any younger.
I loved the depo shot and was on it for a year the first time before I read all th horror stories. At that point I switched back to the pill. I started taking the pill during week ten after my last depo shot and had a period during the week off the pill, 13 weeks after my last shot (according to the pamphlets this is the longest you should go between needles to prevent pregnacy) but due to migraines and recurring yeast infections from the estrogen in the pills I went back to the Depo.
This time I was on the depo for about 2.5 years before I decided to blame the depo on my lack of weight loss! I can not blame it for the weight gain but I felt that maybe it was the reason I couldn't lose the weight...silly me . I have been on the pill for about 7 months and have had my period back from the very beginning. I think that the depo was in my system for awhile though because the pill did not start working for my acne until about 3 months ago and that is aboout the time the yeast infections returned (lucky me!). The only thing that has kept me from going on the depo again is the fact that my DH recently had a vasectomy and I figured I may as well stay on the pill until I am given the go-ahead to get off birth control altogether.
I will say, however, that when I went on the depo in the first place, my husband and I were quite certain that our family was complete. I MAY not have gone back on it the second time (after reading other women's stories) if we were planning on having more children. I have read plenty of stories but the one I read about the most is the difficulty in getting pregnant if at all and I guess you have to weigh the pros and cons for yourself. I'm sure if you do a search on the pill you will find thousands of similar stories.
Almost all the women who complain about depo being evil and terrible had bad side effects all along, especially weight gain, which as we all know women hate, so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of their hostility toward depo is because they got overweight on it--of course they blame the depo rather than overeating, lack of exercise or age.
Although I do agree that there are plenty of people who claim innocent scapegoats as reason for their weight gain, the depo shot most certainly was the problem for me. And I do believe (because of how many people I've read have gained about 25 pounds on this form of birth control... I don't think it's just a coincidence) I was in great shape and went to the gym about 4-5 times a week doing cardio and weight training... I was 20 when I started using the depo shot, I wore a size 6 at the time, when I went on the depo shot... I still wore a size 6 until about a year into the depo shot when I started gaining weight. It wasn't shocking after the first 5 pounds, although, it kind of was weird that it came a year later... The weight kept coming on, however, and I wasn't doing too much different. Now, I'm almost 22, and I gained about 25 pounds since, and am a size 10, struggling to get back down to even a size 6. I go to the gym even more than I used to and get few results. I take vitamins, I count calories/fat, and it just isn't as easy as it was before. Now, no one can say this is an age issue, because I'm twenty two.
Take it or don't... I'm not saying the depo shot is evil, because I don't personally think that. I just think people need to be informed about the possible side effects. If I had known it could be 5 pounds on the pill versus 25 pounds on the shot, there is no doubt in my mind that I would've chosen the pill.
I am currently on the pill after 2 years of the shot, and I have to say, my periods got worse. I never had cramps in my life, or heavy bleeding, for that matter. Now, I have both. The first period I got after coming off the shot, I was bed ridden and I felt like my insides were coming out.
I would be a little careful taking another form of birth control right after your shot... because, supposedly it takes up to a year for the shot to completely leave the body... and when I took the pill after the shot, I went emotionally crazy for no reason. I would cry over NOTHING all the time for about a month or two. I personally believed it had something to do with the fact that the shot is concentrated and still in my body, so adding MORE
hormones through the pill made me go insane.
All in all, the shot wasn't bad, as long as you're willing to put up with the possible weight gain that takes forever to lose, and the interesting situation it becomes after the 2 years when you have to switch to another birth control. It was very nice not having to worry day to day, or even week to week about birth control, and never getting my period. But somehow, I think that's probably not healthy.
Anyway, to each their own, and there are pros and cons of this, obviously, you just have to pick what's right for you. But it's nice to have the information... I wasn't really given any by anyone before I went on the shot.
Everyone seems to have bad experiences with the shot. Me, personally, I love it! Grant it that it did decrease my sex drive a little, but no weight gain or other side effects that have been mentioned. Everyone has their own opinion and I think that everyone experinces side effects differently.After stopping the shot when I changed insurance companies, I was pregnant within 4 months!!! I got back on the shot after the brth of my son, then decided to have another baby, so my children would be close in age and was pregnant within 5 months of my last shot. So I think it all depends on the woman's body and how she handles side effects. I experienced the worst side effects when I was on the pill and I became pregnant on the pill and never on the shot.Like I said early it's just my opinion, but the shot is the best form of birth control a busy student/mom/employee/party-goer could have!!!
I was on depo last year...first shot in june (and it was my last)... i had a 48-52 day period that NEVER STOPPED, and all my period symptoms worsened by 5x. The cramping was so bad i couldnt walk. Now its July 1st... 13 months later and i have yet to have a period since that one that was in june. Plus im not even ovulating.
Depo can also cause infertility i have read...it can take about 2 years in some women for them to get their periods back, and it take 9 months to get out of your system from the date of your last shot..
My dr only told me i wouldnt have periods for 3 months and not get pregnant... I totally wish i didnt agree to that shot if i knew all the dangers associated with it, i wouldnt wish this on my worst enemy. Its totally depressing me that i cant get pregnant right now.