How Effective Is The Shot
When you use it correctly and consistently every 3 months, this method is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
- Less than 1 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year if they always use the birth control method as directed
- 6 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year if they dont consistently take the shot or if they take it late
If taken within the first seven days of your period, you are immediately safe from becoming pregnant. The same is true if taken within five days after an abortion, miscarriage, or within 3 weeks of giving birth.
Otherwise, as a precaution you should be using backup birth control, like a female condom or male condom, for the first week. Since the shot is not effective at protecting you from infections, use a condom if STIs are a concern.
Each birth control shot will protect you against pregnancy for a 12 week period. After every 12 weeks, it is important to go back to your health care provider to receive another shot. If you are two or more weeks late getting it, they will ask you to take a pregnancy test.
What Health Factors Could Limit My Choice Of Birth Control
If you have health problems or other risk factors, some birth control methods may not be right for you.
- Smoking. If you smoke more than 15 cigarettes a day and are 35 or older or have high blood pressure, a history of stroke, a history of blood clots, liver disease, or heart disease, you may not be able to use combined hormonal methods.
- Migraines. If you have migraine headaches, talk to your health professional about whether you can try combined hormonal contraception.
- Diabetes. If you have advanced or long-standing diabetes, discuss the risks of taking hormonal birth control methods with your health professional.
- Childbirth. If you have just delivered a baby, the estrogen-progestin methods of birth control aren’t recommended in those first few weeks. Progestin-only pills, both kinds of IUDs, or birth control shots are a good option for women who have just given birth.
Other health problems that might keep you from using a particular birth control method are relatively rare, especially in young women. But before using any method, talk with your health professional to see if it is safe for you.
What Harm Will Birth Control Cause To An Unborn Baby
So, what happens if you take birth control while pregnant? Taking birth control in the early stages of pregnancy doesnt appear to increase the risk of birth defects in unborn babies. The exposure from the hormones in birth control is not known to cause any birth defects or increase the chance of miscarriage. So, you shouldnt be concerned if you kept taking your birth control because you didnt know youre pregnant.
If you think theres a chance that you may be pregnant, takea home pregnancy test as a precaution. If the test is positive, stop taking thebirth control immediately and visit your doctor.
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How Well Does The Birth Control Shot Work
The birth control shot is an effective birth control method. Over the course of a year, about 6 out of 100 typical couples who use the birth control shot will have an accidental pregnancy. The chance of getting pregnant increases if a girl waits longer than 3 months to get her next shot.
In general, how well each type of birth control method works depends on a lot of things. These include whether a person has any health conditions or is taking any medicines that might affect its use. It also depends on whether the method is convenient and whether the person remembers to use it correctly all of the time.
The Pill Can Affect Your Fertility Via Blood Clotting
The hormonal pill can increase your risk of blood clots, but itâs not that big a deal unless you have a history of them or are classified as high-risk of clotting, Dr. Sherry Ross M.D., an OB-GYN and author of she-ology, tells Bustle. You may have heard that blood clotting disorders are associated with more frequent miscarriages â which is true â and freak out that your Pill use might create problems with pregnancy in the future, but that’s not the reality.
âThe hormones in the pill can make your blood thicker than usual causing hyper-coagulation,â she says. Estrogen is the culprit behind the hyper-coagulation in the combined pill, which is why other hormonal birth control methods without estrogen, like hormonal IUDs and progestin-only pills, donât carry the same risk.
It doesn’t have a long-term effect on your fertility, but if you have any history of blood clots, combined pills aren’t for you.
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Trying To Conceive: After Birth Control
Last Editorial Review: 3/7/2005
WebMD Live Events Transcript
What effects, if any, do the pill, Depo-Provera, or other birth control choices have on your fertility? Amos Grunebaum, MD, medical director of the WebMD Fertility Center, joined us on May 24, 2004, to talk about TTC after birth control, as well as the first baby steps to parenthood, from understanding your cycle to the ABCs of fertility charting.
The opinions expressed herein are the guests’ alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.
MEMBER QUESTION:Dr. Grunebaum, is it true that if I have been on birth control pills for 16 months, it will take me time to conceive? I have been TTC the past five months and am not pregnant. Thank you.
DR. AMOS:The birth control pill works by preventing ovulation. Once you stop taking the pill, the hormones are out of your body quickly, usually within a couple of days. When the hormones are gone your body needs to start again on its own to function. That mean it will start producing follicles again, which eventually lead you to ovulate. Everybody acts differently, some may take a couple of weeks to ovulate, other may take some months, but in general your body should be in “normal mode” within less than two to three months after stopping the pill. So if you now ovulate normally, that means your body is back to its normal rhythm.
After Your Partner Has Had A Vasectomy
While you have a less than one percent chance of getting pregnant by a man whos had a vasectomy, you might have a much larger chance if you dont wait until your partners been tested to see if it worked. Your partners sperm should be checked three months after the procedure, and he needs to have had a minimum of 20 ejaculations. Make sure to use other protection until you get the OK from your doctor after three months.
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What Happens If You Take Birth Control While Pregnant
Some people might assume that getting pregnant while taking birth control isnt possible. And well, this just isnt true. Birth control is between 91% 99% effective when it is used with perfect use. Although it has high rate of effectiveness, there are many ways that a woman can become pregnant without intending to.
So, what happens if you take birth control while pregnant? Is the birth control harmful to the baby or mother? Lets find out below and discuss some of the reasons that you may become pregnant while taking birth control.
How Effective Is The Birth Control Shot
When used perfectly, the birth control shot effectiveness is more than 99%, meaning less than 1 out of every 100 people who use it will get pregnant each year. But when it comes to real life, the shot is about 94% effective, because sometimes people forget to get their shots on time. So, in reality, about 6 out of every 100 shot users will get pregnant each year.
The better you are about getting your shot on time, the better it will work. But theres a very small chance that you could still get pregnant, even if you always get the shot on time.
If effectiveness is the most important thing to you when picking what birth control to use, you might want to check out IUDs and the implant. Theyre the most effective kinds of birth control. But if you decide the shot is right for you, make sure you always get your follow-up shots on time.
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Can I Become Pregnant After I Stop Using Depo
You can become pregnant after taking Depo-Provera®. You could become pregnant as soon as 12 to 14 weeks after your last shot. It could also take up to a year or two to conceive after stopping this type of contraception. If youre planning on becoming pregnant in the next year, you may not want to start taking the birth control shot.
Remember, you can also become pregnant if you miss a dose of the birth control shot or if its late.
Getting Pregnant With The Patch Ring Or Shot
There are a few more options when it comes to birth control, and these include the patch, the vaginal ring and the Depo-Provera shot. Black says the failure rate for typical use of the patch and the ring is the same as the pill: eight percent. The Depo-Provera shot has a failure rate of just six percent with typical use.
With all three types of contraception, adherence is the biggest risk factor. They need to be used as directed to work effectively. Costescu says with the patch, which you replace once a week , one issue is that it may accidentally fall off. With the ring, he explains that replacing it on time is key. And it can only be removed for short periods of time if you want it to remain effective. Some women choose to remove the NuvaRing when theyre sexually active, and we recommend that it only be removed for up to three hours so, it cant be taken out, for instance, for an overnight date, he says.
Black adds that the same medications that make the pill less effective would have a similar effect on the patch and ring.
With Depo-Provera shots, Costescu notes, you must visit a health-care provider every three months to get the shot. He also says that the shot may be a good option if youre on anti-seizure medication, as the high dose of hormones that come with this type of birth control means those medications may not interfere with its effectiveness.
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Use The Wait Time To Prepare For Pregnancy
Hurrying up and waiting is never fun, but the time can be used effectively to prepare as best as possible for pregnancy. Here are some ways:
- Start taking a prenatal vitamin.
- Plan ahead and stop your depo shots well in advance of when you want to get pregnant. An alternate form of birth control may be a good idea in the interim.
- Exercise regularly, and eat a balanced diet to help increase your metabolism and maintain a healthy weight. Moderate weight loss in overweight patients has the added benefit of boosting fertility.
- Have regular, unprotected intercourse once youre ready to conceive. As mentioned before, if your periods havent returned or are not regular, you may still get pregnant.
- Make sure you are using FDA-cleared fertility lubricant that will not harm sperm.
- Use ovulation predictor kits to figure out when ovulation returns so you can time intercourse effectively. The form of birth control you were previously using does not change the efficacy of these methods.
All of these are safe, healthy ways to optimize yourself for pregnancy.
As always, use your doctor when you have concerns, but especially if its been 24 months since your last depo shot, and youre still not having regular periods or if you havent conceived 12 months after having normal periods again .
Does The Shot Protect Against Stds
No. The shot is really good at preventing pregnancy, but it wont protect you from sexually transmitted infections.
Luckily, using condoms every time you have sex really lowers the chance of getting or spreading STDs. The other great thing about condoms is that they also protect against pregnancy, which means that using condoms along with the shot gives you awesome pregnancy-preventing power!
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How Soon Can You Get Pregnant
This is a different question just because your fertility has returned doesnt mean pregnancy will happen right away.
This can be a really odd experience for someone who has spent years preventing pregnancy. You might assume that without birth control, you would have conceived immediatelybut thats not entirely accurate.
Once you stop contraceptives, you may conceive the very first fertile month, or you may need to try for up to a year. This is the same as for those who have not used any birth control.
What Are The Benefits
The shot is safe, simple and convenient to use. It provides an effective solution to prevent pregnancy for up to three months. Some of the other benefits include:
- Preventing cancer on the lining of the uterus
- No daily pills required
- Contains no estrogen
- Private method of birth control
- Improved sex life
- No prep work before having sex
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How To Prevent Your Birth Control From Failing
The best way to make sure your birth control works is to pick the method thats right for you. For example, if you dont think youll be able to remember to take a pill every day, you’d be better off using a semi-permanent option, such as an IUD or implant. These also are the most effective options.
It May Take Up To 10 Months After Stopping The Birth Control Shot To Get Pregnant
It only takes 15 weeks after your last shot for pregnancy protection to wear off. How soon you get pregnant after stopping the depo shot is different for everyone. For some people it can take up to 10 months for their ability to get pregnant to return to normal and for others it can happen much sooner.
Your first period after stopping the depo provera shot can take several months to return. It can also take time for your period to go back to the way it was before you started using the shot. Everyones body is different, and reacts to going off the shot differently, so theres no way to know when you will get your period back after your last depo shot. Its possible to get pregnant before your period returns, so use another method of birth control if you dont want to get pregnant after stopping the depo shot.
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Risks Of Taking Birth Control While Pregnant
If you were taking birth control to prevent pregnancy but find out weeks later that youre indeed pregnant, its natural to wonder what effect your birth control may have on a developing fetus. The good news is that birth control has been shown to be safe in early pregnancy.
Of course, no guarantee can be made that the medication hasnt affected the babys development, so be sure to see your doctor as soon as you suspect or find out that youre pregnant. If you test positive, you should stop taking your birth control pill.
Becoming pregnant while on birth control does increase your risk of ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized embryo attaches outside the uterus, often in the fallopian tube. This is a very serious, life-threatening problem and should be cared for immediately.
A Few Reasons To Visit The Doctor
When youre choosing a form of birth control, a visit to the doctor for a checkup and evaluation can be very helpful for determining which birth control is right for you.
If you experience any unusual feelings or symptoms after you stop birth control, you may need to go back to the doctor for professional help. Signs to watch out for include dizziness, headaches, or nausea. Some people can stop taking contraceptives with no problems, but its also normal to experience some symptoms or effects when you stop.
A womans ovulation cycle after birth control should return to normal immediately after stopping birth control unless it was a shot. You can also ask your obstetrician about how to get pregnant after birth control, and they can provide you with information on expectations, useful tips, and even an evaluation.
Although its possible to immediately get pregnant after birth control, most couples dont conceive right away. However, 85% of couples conceive after a year of trying. After the year, you may want to visit your obstetrician, who can give you guidance or possibly refer you to a fertility specialist.
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What Are The Disadvantages
Many women adjust to the birth control shot with little to no problems. However, every women is different and so are their bodies. Therefore there can be some undesirable side effects. The most common side effect is irregular bleeding. This usually occurs within the first 6 to 12 months of use and can include:
- Fewer and lighter periods
- Heavier and longer periods
- Light bleeding and spotting between periods
Some women think they are pregnant if they dont get their period. However, not bleeding is common with this form of birth control. If you are taking the shot correctly and consistently, not bleeding is not a problem. This method is effective in preventing pregnancy.
Some less common side effects include:
- Sore breasts
- Increased hair on face/body or loss hair
- Weight gain or change in appetite
There are no ways to avoid the side effects of this method. They will continue to wear off when the shot stops having its effect after 12 weeks . However, if you start up again they will persist. The side effects will vary based on how your body reacts to the shot.
Serious side effects, like the ones list below, should be reported to a health profession immediately:
- Yellowing of eyes or skin
- Migraine with an aura flashing zigzags, seeing bright
- New lump on your breast
- Major depression
- Pain, pus or bleeding where you were giving the shot
- Prologue vaginal bleeding