How To Get Pregnant After Birth Control Shot

Where You Can Get It

How soon after stopping birth control can a woman get pregnant?

You can get the contraceptive injection for free, even if you’re under 16, from:

  • contraception clinics
  • sexual health or genitourinary medicine clinics
  • GP surgeries

Find a sexual health clinic.

Sayana Press is a new form of Depo-Provera and is available in some clinics.

It’s very similar to Depo-Provera in the way it works and the effects it can have on your body.

But you’ll be taught how to give yourself the injection, rather than having a doctor or nurse give it to you.

Getting Pregnant After Depo

As long as you want to prevent pregnancy, you need to receive an injection every 90 days. This is because, after 90 days, the levels of Depo-Provera are not high enough for most women to reliably prevent pregnancy.

Lets say you want to get pregnant and you discontinue injections. You might assume your fertility will return on day 91, but this isnt how the medication works. While the levels of Depo-Provera after 90 days may not be high enough to be considered effective for pregnancy prevention, they may still be too high to get pregnant.

Some women will get pregnant the very first month after the 90 days, but this isnt common. Most women will see their fertility return within 5 to 7 months of their last injection. In other words, about two months after that 90-day period ends.

Within 10 months of the last injection, 50% of women who discontinue Depo-Provera will get pregnant.

Prevent The Spread Of Covid

After you are fully vaccinated, you may be able to participate in many of the activities that you did before the pandemic. Learn more about what you can do when you have been fully vaccinated.

If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions. CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional primary dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether getting an additional primary dose is appropriate for you.

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Who Can Use The Birth Control Shot

Girls who have trouble remembering to take birth control pills and who want extremely good protection against pregnancy may want to use the birth control shot. Also, nursing mothers can use the birth control shot.

Not all girls can or should use the birth control shot. Some medical conditions make the use of the shot less effective or more risky. For example, it is not recommended for girls who have had blood clots, some types of cancers, or liver disease. Girls who have had unexplained vaginal bleeding or who suspect they may be pregnant should not get the birth control shot and should talk to their doctors.

Use The Wait Time To Prepare For Pregnancy

Birth control shot vs. the pill: Which is better?

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 .

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How Is The Shot Taken

The first thing you need to do is get a prescription. This can be provided by your doctor or a health care provider after an appointment with you to review your medical history. You might also need a medical exam, depending on your physician and your medical history. The health care provider will provide the injection and temporary bruising may occur on your arm.

The cost of the exam can range from $0-250 and each visit after the exam can cost $0-150, depending on your medical coverage.

If you take the shot late , you may need to purchase a pregnancy test.

Getting Pregnant With An Iud

IUDs are a very effective method of birth control, says Costescu. The copper IUDs failure rate is a mere 0.8 percent, while a hormonal IUD has a failure rate of just 0.2 percent. A copper IUD is immediately effective when placed, and the hormonal type is effective within five days after being placed, he explains. And, since you dont have to do anything after its in place, and youve had a follow-up to make sure it was inserted properly, theres no chance for user error.

The one risk is that over the five-year life of your IUD, there is a three to five percent chance it may be expelled by your body. If someone does notice they suddenly have heavy bleeding with clots with an IUD inside, that could be a sign that the IUDs been expelled, Black explains. If this happens, do a string check to make sure the IUD is still in place if you cant find the string, make an appointment with your health-care provider so they can make sure everything is where it should be and, in the meantime, use backup birth control, such as condoms.

If you suspect youre pregnant, take a home pregnancy test. If its positive, its important to see a health-care provider as soon as possible to get an ultrasound. Its an urgent matter because if you get pregnant with an IUD there is a higher chance that it will be an ectopic pregnancy, which means the embryo has implanted in one of your fallopian tubes rather than in your uterus, which can be dangerous, and needs to be treated right away.

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When To Connect With Your Care Team

Its always best to share any side effects you experience with a doctor or clinician, especially side effects that make daily life more difficult. They can help monitor side effects and offer guidance on switching to another type of birth control, if needed.

Youll want to get medical attention as soon as possible if you notice:

  • jaundice, or yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes
  • breast or chest lumps
  • sharp pain in your chest, shortness of breath, and blood in your cough
  • pain and swelling in your calf or lower leg
  • signs of a stroke, including:
  • sudden dizziness
  • severe abdominal pain or tenderness on one side
  • unusual or prolonged vaginal bleeding, including:
  • bleeding heavily between periods
  • heavy bleeding that doesnt stop
  • anything else that seems out of the ordinary
  • pain, redness, blood, or pus near the site of the injection
  • itchy skin, hives, or difficulty breathing
  • Its also a good idea to reach out to your care team right away if you live with any of the conditions listed below and notice any changes in your health while using the shot:

    • diabetes

    Can I Get Pregnant Even If My Period Hasn’t Resumed Yet

    Is it possible to get pregnant while on the Depo shot?

    Yes, about 70% or women will conceive within 12 months after the last injection even if normal menses has not returned. As long as normal ovulation has returned, pregnancy may occur. Ovulation occurs first, then your period, so theoretically you can conceive without your first period after discontinuing Depo shots. Once your menstrual cycles resume, you should have no increased difficulty conceiving particularly if your periods were regular prior to using Depo Provera.

    If a Depo injection is given without two negative pregnancy tests and more than five days after your period, there is a chance you could get pregnant.

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    How Do I Use Depo

    If the shot sounds like a good fit for you, reach out to your doctors office, OB-GYN, or local health clinic to make an appointment.

    At your appointment, the clinician will go over your health history to make sure its safe for you to receive the shot. They may ask questions about:

    • other types of birth control youve used in the past
    • any side effects you experienced
    • your last period
    • the possibility of pregnancy

    If theres any chance you could be pregnant, youll typically need to take a pregnancy test before you can get the shot.

    Some healthcare professionals may also recommend getting the shot:

    • during the first 5 days of your period
    • within 5 days after giving birth, or by the 6th week postpartum if you nurse exclusively
    • within a week of having a miscarriage or abortion

    If theres no possibility of pregnancy, you can get the shot at any time.

    If you doget the shot within 5 days of starting your period or within 5 days of giving birth, youre protected from pregnancy immediately. The shot will have time to take effect before you ovulate, in other words. Otherwise, youll want to use a backup birth control method for 7 days to avoid an unplanned pregnancy.

    As for the injection itself, it can go into your upper arm or buttocks. You can choose where youd like to get the shot.

    Remember: Youll need to return to a doctors office or clinic every 11 to 14 weeks to get your next shot, so it might help to schedule your next appointment before you leave.

    Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Injection


    • each injection lasts for either 8 or 13 weeks
    • it does not interrupt sex
    • it’s an option if you can’t use oestrogen-based contraception
    • you do not have to remember to take a pill every day
    • it’s safe to use while you’re breastfeeding
    • it’s not affected by other medicines
    • it may reduce heavy, painful periods and help with premenstrual symptoms for some women


    • your periods may change and become irregular, heavier, shorter, lighter or stop altogether this can carry on for some months after you stop the injections
    • it does not protect you against STIs
    • there can be a delay of up to 1 year before your periods return to normal and you can become pregnant
    • some people may put on weight when they use Depo-Provera or Sayana Press contraceptive injections
    • you may experience side effects like headaches, acne, hair loss, decreased sex drive and mood swings
    • any side effects can continue for as long as the injection lasts and for some time after

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    The Birth Control Pill

    Oral contraceptives contain hormones that stop ovulation. If you use them perfectly, theyâre a great way to prevent pregnancy, with a 99.7% effectiveness rate. But in reality, a lot of women forget to take them every day, so the typical use rate is only 91%. Other reasons why your pill might not work include:

    If you have any of these issues, talk to your doctor about using condoms as a backup method, or switch to another form of birth control entirely.

    If you skip a dose, take it as soon as you can. If youâve missed more than two pills, take them as soon as you remember, and continue to take pills daily while you use a backup method of birth control like condoms for the next week. If youâre on the mini-pill or the progestin-only pill, take it within the same 3 hours every day .

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    Thankfully, knowing when things are back to normal is much easier than waiting for it to happen. You can be sure youre ovulating normally again when you resume your regular periods or by testing for ovulation using ovulation tests. However, this does not mean you cant get pregnant before your periods come backovulation occurs about two weeks before any period, so pregnancy can occur before you actually have that first period.

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    Interpreting Forum Posts About Depo

    The most important thing to know is that Depo-Provera is not known to increase your risk of infertility after that those 12 to 22 months. In other words, Depo-Provera use is not associated with an increased risk of infertility in general.

    Ovulation take a while to return due to your body not yet metabolizing the medication completely. Not because Depo-Provera has somehow caused a long-term infertility problem.

    With that said, in just about every thread about Depo-Provera on infertility forums, youll find women saying their fertility never returned, even after 2 years. Sometimes, they will assume that this was caused by the shot. This isnt backed up by the research.

    Remember that infertility occurs in 1 in 8 couples. This includes couples who choose to use Depo-Provera. There will be women who cant conceive after Depo, even two years after Depo, but this isnt due to the birth control shot. They would have struggled to conceive without Depo-Provera as well.

    The Depo Detox Diet To Get Pregnant

    Some women, after stopping the Depo shot, turn to a detox diet to help their bodies get rid of the synthetic progesterone lingering in their bodies. The detox diet helps to flush the synthetic progesterone from the liver and may help with becoming pregnant. The herbs on this list, particularly dandelion root and milk thistle, encourage detoxification, according to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

    Note: If you are considering one of these detox diets, first consult your doctor. Some of the herbs may not be suitable for you or may be dangerous for an underlying condition you may have. You also should wait a few weeks to allow your body to rid itself of the hormone and to heal.

    A detox diet may include the following:

    • a lot of water

    Again, be sure to consult your doctor before going on any kind of detox diet.

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    When To See Your Doctor

    If your cycles are not coming back or youre not ovulating, and its within two years of your last shot, there is unfortunately very little your doctor can do to help. You just need to wait. Which can be extremely frustrating.

    You should see your doctor if:

    • It has been 24 months since your last injection and you are still not ovulating
    • Your cycles are irregular two years after your last injection
    • You dont conceive within 12 months of ovulation returning
    • You have other risk factors or signs of a possible fertility problem

    Barrier Methods And Natural Methods

    Is it risky to get pregnant after stopping birth control pills and before my period regulates?

    If you were using a barrier method, there is good news. These methods do not interfere with fertility. Barrier methods include:

    Barrier methods block sperm from reaching your egg. These methods do not stop ovulation. Whether you are using them or not, your monthly cycle does not change.

    As an added bonus, condoms also protect you from sexually transmitted infections . Left untreated, some STIs can lead to infertility.

    Some people use natural family planning methods. If this is you, you may be able to get pregnant faster. Many of these methods have you keep track of your most fertile days. So now, just do the reverse. Instead of avoiding sex around those days, go try to make a baby.

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    Dont Use St Johns Wort

    St. Johns wort is a popular over-the-counter herbal supplement that can affect liver metabolism. This supplement can interfere with birth controls effectiveness. You could experience breakthrough bleeding and possibly an unplanned pregnancy if you take the two medicines together. Talk with your doctor about any additional measures you should take, including a backup protection method while youre taking St. Johns wort.

    Knowing what can make your birth control ineffective and how you can increase your chances for successfully avoiding pregnancy will help you make the best decisions for yourself.

    You Have To Get An Injection Every 3 Months

    You have to go to a doctor’s office or health center every 3 months for your injection. Or you may be able to get a supply of shots at the health center to bring home and give yourself every 3 months. Either way, the shot only works if you get it on time, so it’s important to stay on schedule. You can use our birth control app to keep track of your next shot day and set reminders for upcoming appointments.

    If you live far from a health center, or if you just have a really busy life and think you wont stay on top of getting your follow-up shots, some other birth control methods might be a better fit for you. IUDs and implants are methods that you dont need to think about once you get them put in. Take our quiz for help finding the birth control method thats best for you.

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