In this Article
- What Is the Depo Shot and How Does it Work?
- Does the Depo Shot Cause Temporary Infertility?
- Things You Can Do to Get Pregnant Fast After Stopping the Depo Shot
- Ovulation After Stopping the Depo Provera Injection
- Depo Detox Diet to Get Pregnant
- What Are the Chances of Getting Pregnant After Receiving Only One Depo Shot?
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If you are planning to conceive but have been taking the birth control injection called Depo-Provera to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, then you may want to know more about how to conceive after stopping the injections. One shot of Depo-Provera gives you three months of protection from an unplanned pregnancy. It is 97% effective and very reliable. However, it may take some time for you to get pregnant after stopping the use of the Depo-Provera shot.
What Is the Depo Shot and How Does it Work?
Depo-Provera is the name of an injectable contraceptive medication, also known as depot medroxyprogesterone acetate or DMPA. One injection of this medication can provide 3 months of dependable birth control. Depo-Provera contains progestin, a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone. Progestin reduces ovulation and thickens the cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to move through the reproductive canal. This way, even if ovulation occurs, the sperm won’t be able to reach the egg in the fallopian tube and fertilise it. The Depo injection is required every 90 days, unlike birth control pills that need to be taken daily. This is due to the fact that the injection creates a depot or storage reserve of progestin in the body at the site of the injection.
Once you take the injection, the progesterone level in the body rises steadily and peaks at 3 weeks, after which the level begins to gradually reduce. Around 50% of women who take regular Depo injections for a year will stop menstruating. Once the progesterone levels in the body decrease, the process of ovulation and menstruation begin once again.
Does the Depo Shot Cause Temporary Infertility?
The Depo shot suppresses ovulation by increasing the level of progesterone in the body. As a result, it can cause temporary infertility for up to 2 years. Once all the progesterone in the body is eliminated, your fertility will return, and your body will resume ovulating and menstruating. Many women tend to resume their regular monthly cycle 5 months after their last Depo injections. However, it may take up to 22 months for some women to regain their fertility post the last injection.
Another aspect that comes into play with regards to fertility is the weight of the woman. It appears that fertility returns more quickly in women of healthy weight (i.e., in accordance with their height and health conditions) than those who are overweight. Also, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve used the Depo-Provera shot for about 6 months or even for a couple of years; your fertility will most likely return in the same time period, in both cases.
Things You Can Do to Get Pregnant Fast After Stopping the Depo Shot
Pregnancy after a Depo-Provera injection can take a while, and you need to be patient as well as persistent in your efforts to conceive. Following are the things you can do to get pregnant fast after stopping the Depo shot:
- Wait for your monthly cycle to return. Meanwhile, keep having regular unprotected intercourse in order to conceive. Ideally, you should wait for at least 3 months after your last Depo shot before you begin trying.
- Start taking prenatal vitamins so that your body has the nutrients required to support a pregnancy.
- Track your periods and make a note of when they become regular.
- Track your ovulation using ovulation test kits and basal body temperature charts. This way, you can accurately predict when you are ovulating and have sexual intercourse on that day to get pregnant.
- Plan ahead and stop the Depo shots far in advance of the time you want to get pregnant. This will give enough time to get rid of the excess progesterone from your body. It could take at least 5 months after your last shot for you to be able to conceive.
- Get plenty of exercise to flush toxins and waste out of your system more efficiently. Exercise helps increase your metabolism, and the associated weight loss can also help increase your fertility.
Ovulation After Stopping the Depo Provera Injection
There are some ways to know if your fertility has returned to normal after stopping the Depo shot:
1. Return of Your Regular Menstrual Cycle
If your periods resume, it means that you are ovulating normally. Regular monthly cycles should be between 21 to 35 days from the start of one period to the start of the next period. Your cycles should also be consistent, with a small variation of 2 to 5 days. If there is a wide variation between your monthly cycles, it means you may not be ovulating regularly. Talk to your doctor if this is the case. The amount of bleeding should be normal; neither too light nor too heavy. If there is only spotting or very heavy bleeding, it is a sign of irregular menstruation.
2. Testing Positive on an Ovulation Predictor Kit
If you get a positive result on an ovulation predictor stick, it means that you are definitely ovulating. These over-the-counter test kits are available in pharmacies and are similar to home pregnancy test kits. You need to use urine to test your hormone levels to predict if you are ovulating. The test looks for the Luteinizing Hormone or LH, which increases sharply just before ovulation.
3. Detecting Ovulation Using a Basal Body Temperature Chart
Your basal body temperature (BBT) is the one when your body is at complete rest. This changes when you are ovulating. You can track this at home with a thermometer and a BBT chart. When you ovulate, your BBT will spike and remain high until your period starts. Then, it will decrease and stay the same until you ovulate again. By measuring and tracking your BBT for a few cycles, you can accurately predict when you are going to ovulate.
Depo Detox Diet to Get Pregnant
Many women try out a Depo detox diet to get pregnant after stopping the Depo shot. This is supposed to help your body eliminate all the excess synthetic progesterone from the liver faster. However, while naturopathy prescribes this diet, it hasn’t been confirmed how effective it actually is. The detox diet includes:
- Drinking a lot of water
- Consuming fresh fruits and vegetables
- Staying off spicy, oily junk food
- Drinking herbal teas
- Including dandelion root, milk thistle, and turmeric in your diet
Check with your obstetrician before going on a detox diet and including any new foods in your daily menu. This is because some of the herbs and new foods may not be suitable for you and may also aggravate any underlying condition that you already have. You could also be allergic to one or more of these herbs. Having an allergic reaction is not good for your body if you are trying to get pregnant.
What Are the Chances of Getting Pregnant After Receiving Only One Depo Shot?
A single shot of Depo gives you 3 months of protection against unplanned pregnancy. However, getting pregnant after one Depo shot can take some time. Some women have become pregnant just four months after their last Depo shot. However, it has been found that it takes an average of at least 10 months for women to get pregnant after a single Depo shot. This is because it takes that long for all the excess synthetic progesterone to get eliminated from the body.
If you want to become pregnant after stopping Depo injections, you may have several questions about how long it will take for you to conceive. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about getting pregnant after a Depo shot:
1. How Long Will it Take to Get Pregnant After Stopping a Depo Shot?
It takes an average of 10 months for most women to conceive after stopping the Depo shot. However, keep trying as some women were able to get pregnant just 4 months after their last Depo shot. It depends on how much time your body takes to flush out all the synthetic progesterone from the liver. Once all the progesterone is eliminated from your body, you will resume having regular periods and will start ovulating every month.
2. After a Depo Shot, Can I Get Pregnant Even If My Normal Period Has Not Returned?
Yes, you can get pregnant after a Depo shot even if your regular period has not returned. This is because the body can ovulate without a period, too. You normally ovulate for around 2 weeks before your period. However, you will know for sure if you are ovulating when you have a regular monthly cycle and can track your ovulation and periods.
Getting pregnant after stopping Depo Provera shots can take up to 10 months after the last shot. It takes time for you to regain your fertility after the Depo shot. Some women have reported taking up to 2 years’ time to get pregnant after stopping Depo. If you have been trying to conceive for a year after Depo but without any success, then you should consult your obstetrician who may recommend a fertility specialist.