I heard about a birth control method you only have to take 4 times a year!?!? Is that for real?
Whoop whoop! There sure is!
What it is: The Depo Provera, more commonly known as the ‘shot’. The shot contains progestin, a hormone that prevents your ovaries from releasing eggs. It also thickens your cervical mucus, which helps block sperm from getting to the egg in the first place. Don’t remember or understand all this talk about ovaries, eggs and cervical mucus? Click here!
How to use it: It’s a shot given in the arm or butt area every 3 months by a medical provider.
The Good Stuff:
• Only have to take it 4 times a year!
• No daily pill to remember or weekly patch to change or even monthly ring to remove and reinsert!
• No one knows you are using it!
• Can be used while breastfeeding (unlike most pills, the patch & the ring).
The Not so Good:
• You have to go to a hospital or clinic every 3 months (but it beats going to pharmacy every month).
• It can change your period. Some women bleed more often (in between periods and/or heavier periods) and others don’t have periods at all. The irregular bleeding usually becomes more regular the longer you are using the shot. And for the women, who don’t have their periods at all, some love it and others don’t. Just know that not having your period due to being on Depo is totally normal and not bad.
• Some women report weight gain. However, others report weight loss. Many report no change in weight at all. Unfortunately the only way to know if Depo has an impact on your weight is by trying it.
• The Depo shot can lower your bone density but don’t worry, this isn’t dangerous and your bones will return to normal after stopping the depo. Definitely talk to your clinician about this if you have concerns.
• And like all birth control other than condoms, the shot does not protect against STD’s or HIV.
In happiness & health,
Reviewed by Koher Der Simonian, MD