Archived Q&A and Reviews

Depo-Provera while Breastfeeding

March 2009

Re: Birth Control while Breastfeeding

I breastfed both of my kids until they were 3 years-old, and both times I was very happy on the Depo Provera injection. You get it every three months and forget about taking pills or anything. I did not notice any changes in my milk supply, and the best part for me was that I did not get a period while I was on the Depo. I absolutely loved it and highly recommend it for people who do not want the IUD for any reason (my reason being that I got pregnant with in IUD, but that is very rare if properly placed). When I was ready for baby #2, i suspended the Depo, my period resumed in 6 months and I got pregnant right after. Loved the Depo

The Shot (Depo-Provera) and Breastfeeding

April 2008

Can you take the shot while breastfeeding? Has any one taken the shot and what have your experiences been like? Are there any other effective forms of birth control to use while breastfeeding? Thanks anonymous

I am currently breastfeeding my 32 month-old, while being on the Depo-shot. I did it with my older child too, until she was 3, and the shot has never afected my milk supply. I've been very happy with the shot, especially since I'm one of those persons who has a hard time remembering to take pills, etc, so getting the shot every 3 months works great for me. Another cool thing about it is not getting a period, which I realize doesn't happen to everyone, but for me it's a huge bonus. I highly recommend going for it. toni
I went through this about 9 years ago, and there may be better options available now...but for me, I PACKED on the pounds with Depo, and this is after packing on pounds during pregnancy. What a drag. But I had always put on some weight with the pill as well, but way more with Depo. After baby #2, my dh agreed to a vasectomy since we knew we were done, and what a wonderful thing that's been. I knew I didn't want to take pills all the way to menopause. Anon
I'm not a doctor but I think it would be risky to do the Depo-Provera shot, and here's why: you can't undo it. I have a mood disorder and was advised strongly against getting The Shot because I had had negative reactions to birth control pills in the past (ie massive depression). My doctor was concerned that if I had a bad reaction, I'd have to deal with it for three months or whenever the shot wore off. I did try birth control pills about six weeks postpartum, and my milk production plummeted so drastically that I went off them in less than a month. If that happens to you, you will not have that option with Depo-Provera. Stable Moo Cow
I wrote a post yesterday suggesting that the Depo-Provera shot might decrease your breastmilk supply... and I learned today that the shot is progesterone only, and estrogen is what decreases milk supply. Sorry for the misinformation. Stable Moo Cow
The shot is completely safe while breastfeeding. There are many other methods that are safe while breastfeeding, too, like the IUD and the pill. The shot causes many women to gain weight, but it has no dangerous side effects. women's health nurse practitioner
I am currently on depo and have been since I got off the mini- pill (6 months after my daughter was born). She is almost a year old and it's been great. I've been breastfeeding her full time and was told by my doc the regular birth control pill, which was my preferred method, can reduce breastmilk by 10% or more in some women. I'd never taken depo before but it's working fine. I got pretty emotional (generally pissy and cried a lot) for the first shot but have adjusted well - according to my husband. =) I haven't had a period or any bleeding since my first round either. I have also actually lost weight, not gained it which was nice. If you've already taken it, you know what to expect for yourself but it's been totally safe and effective for me. Not to mention the most recommended method other than barriers. Breastfeeding Depo Fan

Conceiving after Depo-Provera

Dec 1998

Does anyone have any first hand knowledge from using the contraceptive shot Depo-Provera. I used it one time for a three month period, and opted not to get the next follow up shot.

I did not have a period for the first two months of using it, then had a 2 week period during the last month I was on it. I have now had a two week break from being on it, and just recently experienced cramps, as if I was getting my period, but didn't.

I would like to hear from others who have used the shot. How long it took to get back on cycle, and/or how long it took to concieve, thereafter. The warnings from the manufacturer state that it can take up to 18 months to get pregnant after using DP regardless of the length of time it was used.

I would like to hear from others who have gone through attempting to conceive after using this shot.

I also only had one shot, but I would never do it again. I had the shot in November of last year, and only recently has my period started coming back the way it used to. I did not get a period for at least six months, and after that it was all out of wack. I would get a period two, three times a month, and they were very heavy with lots of cramping. I even went to my OBGYN because I thought something was seriously wrong. I am not trying to conceive right now, but just wanted to share my experience since they seem so similar.
My wife has used it for about 3 years, and recently came off it. As a youth and an adult, she's always had a somewht erratic monthly cycle. After going on D/P it stopped completely. We don't recall any other obvious side effects like more-than-normal mood swings, weight or health changes, etc. We liked it for a variety of reasons (repeat we, not just ME). Strange thing is we have Health-Net and they used to cover the shots, but then stopped. When we called them on it, they tried to act like they never covered it ever. Anyhow, she's been off the shots for 6 months - 1 year and the monthly cycle is just now starting to show up again. Why stop? No longer avoiding having a 2nd child.
I'm replying to the woman asking about Depo-Provera. I took it for over a year. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I experienced all of the side effects. I didn't have a period the whole time. I gained over 25 pounds without really changing any of my other habits. My doctor wasn't really sure what it was about Depo-Provera that caused this and it usually happens over longer periods of time. Even though the Pill has this possible side effect, I never had that type of problem with it. I also suffered a mild form of depression with it. It took almost a full year for my body to get back to normal after I stopped getting the shots, having normal periods, the effect of the depression lifting, etc. I have since opted for an IUD which has worked out wonderfully. They're MUCH different now than during the big scare in the '70s. Good luck on whatever you decide. If you want to ask me any more questions, feel free to send me an e-mail.
I recently posted a question regarding the time scale of getting pregnant after taking depo provera. There were a few answers which reinforced what I had read which is that there is no typical time frame. One woman stated that it had been approximately one year after receiving the shot and she still had not had her period return. I took the shot only once, with my due date for another shot being 7 December, which I choose not to get. My period in January was a bit spotty, yet was like clockwork in February and March. Therefore I seemed to have been ovulating, and back on track. To give hope to others who are/were in my predicament of not knowing how long it would take to conceive thereafter, I would like to state that I just found out that I am pregnant. It only took us approximately 4 months, which is a vast difference from many medical notices that say it could take as long as 18 months. My doctor told me that it is very unlikely that it could take 18 months for an individual who only had the shot once, however, they often state this so that people are prepared for the extreme side. (4/99)