Regret Yesterday’s Depo Injection

Question

Hi, I had a question. I just received my first shot and last shot of Depo-Provera yesterday afternoon, and I read up on it all night last night. Nobody at the doctor’s visit told me of any of the side effects while being on this. I know that I’m not going to be able to get it out of my system overnight but I want to do something to speed up the process.
I’m already taking hair, skin, and nail vitamins but I’m going to up the dosage to two pills a day, plus I’m going to take calcium supplements because of the loss in bone density, drink the recommended glasses of water and exercise about an hour a day – alternating between cardio and muscle conditioning workouts. Then I might even go to saunas and take herbal supplements or herbal teas as well.

Do you think it might be too early, doing all of this? I just want to get this shot out as much as I can during the next three months so that everything can go back to normal. Should I wait and do this after? Is there anything else I can do in addition to my planned routine? What about acupuncture? What about using a natural progesterone to counteract the effect or anything else??

Is there any way I can have a test to detect how much Depo-Provera is in my system? If I want to try and conceive after taking Depo-Provera and being off it for six months to a year, what should my hormone levels be? What does Depo- Provera do to the hormones in the body?

Jerika

Answer

Dear Jerika:

Sadly, many women report that they were not told of the side effects of Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone) or other contraceptives for that matter. One shot of Depo-Provera can give prolonged, detrimental effects on your health including fertility. It will take maybe six to eight months to clear and restore normal hormone levels. However, there have been many women who have reported prolonged intervals before they were able to conceive. Bone loss has been associated with prolonged use of Depo-Provera especially after two years of use. However, bone density returns to normal after a couple of years off of the Depo.

Unfortunately, women report a host of other side effects that they attribute to the shot. They include weight gain, headaches, irregular spotting and bleeding, loss of sex drive, among others. Simply “google” depo provera and one can find reports by consumers. Additionally, women report deliberate concealment of information by clinics of what they are receiving. One incident that illustrates this is of a woman with three children at a county health clinic. The children were there for their immunizations. The “nurse” attempted to give a shot to the mother without informing her that it really was depo provera and not an immunization. The thought was that women need to be chemically sterilized like an animal.

The larger question is why women want or are convinced to use Depo-Provera or any other contraceptives in the first place. Yes, women are trying to avoid a pregnancy. However, why are they putting themselves at risk for health problems and masking underlying disease that some of these contraceptives purport to “treat?” These contraceptives do nothing to help fix problems but only mask the underlying disorder.

There is a much healthier way to manage your fertility, promote healthy self respect, and learn about the sources of gynecological dysfunction. This is done with Natural Family Planning(NFP).

A certified NFP teacher will teach you how to chart the medically significant biological signs of your cycle. The chart is invaluable to physicians in helping to diagnose where problems may be. Also, you get an accurate picture of when you are fertile and infertile. NFP educates women about their bodies, puts them in the driver’s seat of their health care, and advances respect for themselves and others. Couples who use NFP have an extremely low divorce rate providing the stable environment that children deserve.

CANFP can help you locate a certified NFP teacher in your area so you can get started even while you are waiting for the Depo to wear off. I hope that this helps!

Sincerely,

Gretchen V. Marsh, D.O.

Answered By:

Gretchen Marsh, D.O.
Dr. Marsh graduated from Western University of Health Sciences in 1987 in Pomona, CA and is board certified in Family Medicine by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians. She has been certified as a NaProTechnology® Medical Consultant (NaPro) and Creighton model Fertility Care System (CrMS) teacher since 2001. She and her husband, Jon, have 5 sons and live in the Reno region, where she sees patients in person, in addition to her telehealth services offered via MyCatholicDoctor.com

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