How to Change Your Birth Control from Depo Shot to Other Methods
August 3, 2022
Are you thinking about how to change from depo shot birth control to other methods?
This post shows the key considerations – keep reading.
The Depo shot is also known as the depot provera or Depo Progesterone injection.
It is a form of birth control which contains the human-made hormone Progesterone given as an injection.
The Depo shot prevents pregnancy mainly by preventing the release of a mature egg from your ovary (ovulation).
It also affects the cervical mucus so that sperm are unable to freely travel within the vagina and womb, reducing the likelihood of pregnancy.
A third effect of the Depo shot is making the environment in your womb unfavourable for a pregnancy to plant in it.
When you take it at the recommended interval, the failure rate of the Depo shot is approximately 0.2% in the first year of use— that is, 99.8% effectiveness.
You will need to return every 13 weeks for a repeat injection of your Depo shot.
This will either be:
Women who take the Depo injection may experience the following benefits, risks and side effects:
Whilst there is little evidence available to show a direct cause, many possible side effects can happen using the depo shot:
There are a few basic principles:
An injection of DMPA can be administered up to 7 days late (up to 14 weeks after the last injection) without the need for additional contraceptive precautions (outside the product licence for IM DMPA)
You can safely switch to any of the following methods without using extra protection as long as the next injection of your depo is not yet due:
The key issue here is that after 14 weeks, you no longer have the protection of the depo shot hormone and can be at risk of pregnancy. If you have not had sex in the 14 weeks before, then we believe you are not pregnant at the time of switching. But pregnancy could happen in the 2-7 days after the switch. Therefore you should use extra protection (condom or female diaphragm) with your new method as follows:
If you choose to switch to the Copper coil, you have no need to use extra protection in the first week as it begins to work immediately.
Things are a little different if you fall into this category, where it’s been over 13-14 weeks after your last shot, but you’ve also had sexual intercourse during that contraception-free time.
We will need to deal with this first – should you consider an emergency method first? Do you wish to wait and do a pregnancy test to see if you are pregnant? Some ladies find themselves in the scenario where they are pregnant and wish to continue and have their baby.
You can switch to a condom as your birth control method after the Depo shot. After 14 weeks, you no longer have the protection of the Depo hormone.
However, please remember the condom is not as effective as the shot – even though it provides protection from sexually transmitted infections.
There’s a lot to take in, yes. So please speak to your medical provider to be sure which method best works for you and address whether you are safe to continue.
Use our email information service to reach out for any further clarifications.
Editing by AskAwayHealth Team
All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on various healthcare conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and help promote quality healthcare.
The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified healthcare practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly through firstname.lastname@example.org
Image Credits: Canva
Want to know how your comment data is processed? Learn more