I think your gf should come to these boards and read the stories of others experiences with Depo. There are some pretty harsh side effects that can take a LONG time to go away. Weight gain and we arent talking a few pounds(I gain 50 on it during the 6 months I was on it) loss of sex drive(I couldnt even stand the thought of my Dh touching me) some women will have spotting for several months(for me the entire 6 montsh I was on it I had bleeding),mood swings(dh swears that during the time I was on it I was not the same woman he had married) and the list goes on.
Yes there are some who have no problems while being on Depo but there many,many others who have non stop problems. I also had to deal with infertility for over 3 years after my last Depo shot.
Your gf can go to this board and do a search for Depo posts and the general sex board and do a search for the posts there.
Depo like any other birth control can fail so using condoms would still be a wise idea. If you are ok with the risk,yes it is a slight risk, then yes you can go without condoms. Just be aware that it can fail and thatyou might have to deal with an unplanned pregnancy.
DS 13 yr
DS 8 yr (3+ yrs ttc)
TTC #3 since 01/02
My experience with Depo wasn't AS bad, but I would not recommend it, either. I didn't gain a lot of weight (only 5 pounds) nor have mood swings, but my sex drive decreased and my first menstraul cycle after going off of it was horrible. I don't think it's safe. I would recommend your girlfried try birth control pills or the birth control patch. If she has side effects, she can always go off that, without having to wait 3 months or more for it to wear off (as is the case with Depo). If she uses the pill correctly (doesn't forget one, takes it at same time every day, doesn't take antibiotics which can lessen its effect, doesn't consume herbs/herbal remedies with it, use condoms when she has any symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea which can prevent absorption of the pill, etc.), your chances of getting pregnant with unprotected sex are about 1-3%. Condoms are important as a 2nd back-up method for preventing pregnancy and for preventing the spread of STDs (unless you have both been tested and all tests are negative).
I am on the depo shot and have been for three years. I took a four month break after the first year because of the horror stories but had such bad migraines and yeast infections on the pill that I went back on the shot. I initially lost 10 lbs when I went on the shot but gained 15 lbs due to other medication and gained another 5 on my own. I will not be getting my next shot when it comes due as I am wondering if it is not the reason that I cannot seem to budge more than 5 lbs. I also do not like the cystic acne that turns up a couple of weeks after each shot. My period came back immediately after stopping the last time and stopped upon starting again. I will go on the depo again if the pill still has the same side effects as I have convinced hubby of a vasectomy but the doctors still have not called back since the initial appointment 3 months ago and the timing with his job is now bad anyhow(hope they call before he chickens out!LOL).
I'm not sure that I would recommend it but if your girlftied really wants it I believe that there is another shot out there that you have to get every month. That way she can see if she has any side effects and it leaves your system faster. If all is well with this shot she may want to give the depo a try.
The patch may be a good idea if there are no side effects for her and she is bad at remembering to take the pill. When I was taking the pill I remembered better when I set them on the bed side table, that way I would remember when I went to bed. Setting an alarm clock also works if you are usually at home when you are suppose to take it (this can be a little embarassing if you have company over and they wonder why your alarm is going off at ten at night!). If she is thinking of taking Depo to stop her periods she may want to talk to her doctor about taking the pill without a break for three months then having a period. There is also a pill called seasonal which gets it's name because you only have a period 4 times a year.
When she is researching the depo horror stories she may also want to check in on birth control pill horror stories as you will find many of these also. Just remember that most people do not post messages to sing praises of products or to say "hey I have no side effects!Yeh". That is why it is so easy to come across horror stories.