Contraception guide

The contraceptive injection

A woman can get pregnant if a man’s sperm reaches one of her eggs (ova). Contraception tries to stop this happening by keeping the egg and sperm apart or by stopping egg production. One method of contraception is the injection.

There are three types of contraceptive injections in the UK: Depo-Provera, which lasts for 12 weeks, Sayana Press, which lasts for 13 weeks, and Noristerat, which lasts for eight weeks. The most popular is Depo-Provera. Noristerat is usually used for only short periods of time – for example, if your partner is waiting for a vasectomy.

The injection contains progestogen. This thickens the mucus in the cervix, stopping sperm reaching an egg. It also thins the womb lining and, in some, prevents the release of an egg.

At a glance: the contraceptive injection

  • If used correctly, the contraceptive injection is more than 99% effective. This means that less than one woman in 100 who use the injection will become pregnant in a year.
  • The injection lasts for eight, 12 or 13 weeks (depending on the type), so you don't have to think about contraception every day or every time you have sex.
  • It can be useful for women who might forget to take the contraceptive pill every day.
  • It can be useful for women who can't use contraception that contains oestrogen.
  • It's not affected by medication.
  • The contraceptive injection may provide some protection against cancer of the womb and pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Side effects can include weight gain, headaches, mood swings, breast tenderness and irregular bleeding. The injection can't be removed from your body, so if you have side effects they'll last as long as the injection and for some time afterwards.
  • Your periods may become more irregular or longer, or stop altogether (amenorrhoea). Treatment is available if your bleeding is heavy or longer than normal – talk to your doctor or nurse about this.
  • It can take up to one year for your fertility to return to normal after the injection wears off, so it may not be suitable if you want to have a baby in the near future.
  • Using Depo-Provera affects your natural oestrogen levels, which can cause thinning of the bones. 
  • The injection does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). By using condoms as well as the injection, you'll help to protect yourself against STIs.

How the injection works

You can get contraception at:

  • most GP surgeries
  • community contraception clinics
  • some GUM clinics
  • sexual health clinics
  • some young people's services

Find a clinic near you

The contraceptive injections Depo-Provera and Noristerat are usually given into a muscle in your bottom, although sometimes may be given in a muscle in your upper arm. Sayana Press is given under the skin (subcutaneously) rather than into a muscle, in the abdomen or thigh.

The contraceptive injection works in the same way as the implant. It steadily releases the hormone progestogen into your bloodstream. Progestogen is similar to the natural hormone progesterone, which is released by a woman's ovaries during her period.

The continuous release of progestogen:

  • stops a woman releasing an egg every month (ovulation) 
  • thickens the mucus from the cervix (neck of the womb), making it difficult for sperm to pass through to the womb and reach an unfertilised egg 
  • makes the lining of the womb thinner, so that it is unable to support a fertilised egg

The injection can be given at any time during your menstrual cycle, as long as you and your doctor are reasonably sure you are not pregnant.

When it starts to work

If you have the injection during the first five days of your cycle, you will be immediately protected against becoming pregnant. 

If you have the injection on any other day of your cycle, you will not be protected against pregnancy for up to seven days. Use condoms or another method of contraception during this time.

After giving birth

You can have the contraceptive injection at any time after you have given birth, if you are not breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding, the injection will usually be given after six weeks, although it may be given earlier if necessary.

  • If you start injections on or before day 21 after giving birth, you will be immediately protected against becoming pregnant.
  • If you start injections after day 21, you will need to use additional contraception for the following seven days.

Heavy and irregular bleeding is more likely to occur if you have the contraceptive injection during the first few weeks after giving birth.

It is safe to use contraceptive injections while you are breastfeeding.

After a miscarriage or abortion

You can have the injection immediately after a miscarriage or abortion, and you will be protected against pregnancy straight away. If you have the injection more than five days after a miscarriage or abortion, you'll need to use additional contraception for seven days.

Who can use the injection?

Most women can be given the contraceptive injection. It may not be suitable if you:

Advantages and disadvantages of the injection

The main advantages of the contraceptive injection are:

  • each injection lasts for either eight, 12 or 13 weeks 
  • the injection does not interrupt sex 
  • the injection is an option if you cannot use oestrogen-based contraception, such as the combined pill, contraceptive patch or vaginal ring
  • you do not have to remember to take a pill every day
  • the injection is safe to use while you are breastfeeding 
  • the injection is not affected by other medicines
  • the injection may reduce heavy, painful periods and help with premenstrual symptoms for some women
  • the injection offers some protection from pelvic inflammatory disease (the mucus from the cervix may stop bacteria entering the womb) and may also give some protection against cancer of the womb

Using the contraceptive injection may have some disadvantages, which you should consider carefully before deciding on the right method of contraception for you. These are as follows:

Disrupted periods

Your periods may change significantly during the first year of using the injection. They will usually become irregular and may be very heavy, or shorter and lighter, or stop altogether. This may settle down after the first year, but may continue as long as the injected progestogen remains in your body.

It can take a while for your periods and natural fertility to return after you stop using the injection. It takes around eight to 12 weeks for injected progestogen to leave the body, but you may have to wait longer for your periods to return to normal if you are trying to get pregnant.

Until you are ovulating regularly each month, it can be difficult to work out when you are at your most fertile. In some cases, it can take three months to a year for your periods to return to normal.

Weight gain

You may put on weight when you use the contraceptive injection, particulaly if you are under 18 years old and are overweight with a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or over.   

Other side effects that some women report are:

  • headaches
  • acne
  • tender breasts
  • changes in mood
  • loss of sex drive

Depo-Provera, oestrogen and bone risk

Using Depo-Provera affects your natural oestrogen levels, which can cause thinning of the bones, but it does not increase your risk of breaking a bone. This isn't a problem for most women, because the bone replaces itself when you stop the injection, and it doesn't appear to cause any long-term problems.

Thinning of the bones may be a problem for women who already have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis (for example, because they have low oestrogen, or a family history of osteoporosis). It may also be a concern for women under 18, because the body is still making bone at this age. Women under 18 may use Depo-Provera, but only after careful evaluation by a doctor.

Will other medicines affect the injection?

No – the contraceptive injection is not affected by other medication.


There is a small risk of infection at the site of the injection. In very rare cases, some people may have an allergic reaction to the injection.

Where you can get it

Most types of contraception are available free in the UK. Contraception is free to all women and men through the NHS. You can get contraception at:

  • most GP surgeries – talk to your GP or practice nurse
  • community contraception clinics
  • some genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics 
  • sexual health clinics – they also offer contraceptive and STI testing services
  • some young people’s services (call 0300 123 7123 for more information)

Find your nearest sexual health clinic by searching your postcode or town.

Contraception services are free and confidential, including for people under the age of 16.

If you're under 16 and want contraception, the doctor, nurse or pharmacist won't tell your parents (or carer) as long as they believe you fully understand the information you're given, and your decisions. Doctors and nurses work under strict guidelines when dealing with people under 16.

They'll encourage you to consider telling your parents, but they won't make you. The only time that a professional might want to tell someone else is if they believe you're at risk of harm, such as abuse. The risk would need to be serious, and they would usually discuss this with you first.

Page last reviewed: 12/01/2015

Next review due: 12/01/2017


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The 68 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

alicewebber said on 09 November 2015

I had this injection after having my son! In a 4 month period I have had one period, I only had one injection and won't ever be having it again or recommending it! I bled for 2 weeks long, and now having researched I have found out it can take up to 2 years for my periods to go back to normal! Now deciding that in the next 6 months we want to start trying for our 2nd child, we may be held back up to a year before even ovulation returning!

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TigerBrom said on 30 September 2015

I began using the injection over 10 years ago (in my early thirty's) and have never had any problems with it. My periods stopped as soon as I had the first injection and I have had no bleeding since. I would definitely recommend this method as a good long term solution.

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Ally_Pally said on 09 September 2015

As a 19 year old student, my mum as a pharmacist suggested that I go on some regular form of contraception before term started (more for a piece of mind for herself and for me obviously). I received the injection purely as my clinic was not offering the implant the day that we went but offered me the depo shot so that I would be covered for freshers. I had just started my period the day that I received my injection and it completely stopped within a couple of hours with the exception of a bit of spotting for a couple of days. I've now had the deep shot for a month and I personally have had no major side effects. I've lost weight if anything but that can be contributed to having a very physical job that means I'm on my feet and running around a lot. The only issues I have had are that my boobs are sore all the time, I feel a bit sick sometimes and need to pee quite a lot (I can be sure that they are not pregnancy symptoms as I have not had sex in about 4 months) Overall I would recommend the injection, I think that symptoms vary dependant on the person but has worked perfectly well for me so far

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EllieB95 said on 06 June 2015

Hi, I am currently on the injection but I am having difficulties organising to get another before I go away for 3 months this summer. I don't really need to be protected against getting pregnant over this period of time but I was wondering what is best; to not be on any contraception at all or to go on the pill for this period? Hope someone can help. Thank you, Els.

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Kayleigh7 said on 03 June 2015

I have been in the contraceptive injection for about 2 weeks now. I am feeling really depressed, I can't sleep properly at night, lost my appetite, sleeping lots throughout the day, I feel like I'm going to give up its just not me at all. Is there anyone who can help? Or anyone know of something I can take to make me feel better please

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Beccaex said on 10 May 2015

Just thought I'd share a positive comment I had the injection had no side effects and I fell pregnant with my third daughter a month after it stopped.

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Xero said on 05 May 2015

If I have my pill injection on the 2nd of May doni count may as a month ?

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sian1993 said on 22 February 2015

I was on the depo injection for 2 years and now been off the depo injection 2 years next month , me and my husband have been trying to conceive since then and nothing has happened .I wouldn't suggest having the depo injection if you want a baby within 2 years of having it.

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speacock36 said on 19 October 2014

Hi, I am 41 and was on this injection 14 years ago, I came off it 3 years after first starting as I was spotting and my doctor wanted it investigating nothing untoward found, I then fell pregnant with my 3rd child so I used it for 9 years until 1st August 2014 I had a dvt in my calf, was told it was down to this injection. It made sense as I had been ill a couple of weeks after each of the last 3 injections, the doctor, clinic and nurse never once considered my birth control, which was the only thing I have ever taken medically. I am no longer able to use any bc. It's been 4 weeks since leaving my system and I feel terrible, nausea, tiredness, unable to function, sharp pains in both flanks, sweating in a morning and generally irritable. My daughter was also taking this as bc, and has not gone back for hers, I'm relieved.

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youdontneedtoknowmyname said on 08 October 2014

I have had 4 injections, so I have been on the injection for about a year now. My periods stopped straight away but toward the end of the three months when my next injection is due, I have spotting for about two weeks. I never get pains and think the injection is good because I don't have to worry about taking the pill daily. I came off the pill and went on the injection as the pill made me feel very sick and dizzy to the point where I just stopped taking it. The injection is not painful and is quick and easy. I have suffered from the side effects of the injection though. I feel very bloated all the time even when I haven't eaten, I get tired easily, and I have put on a lot of weight since having it. I have put on over a stone and have gone from a size 10 to a size 14. I am not sure whether to blame the injection for my weight gain but looking at the other comments it seems like a reasonable explanation for it. I have also got dark purple stretch marks on my hips and my thighs. As a result of this I have a low self-esteem and can not wear the clothes I used to wear. I need to have something to stop me from getting pregnant but at the same time I do not want to gain any more weight. It is putting me down and i'm not quite sure what to do about it.

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s101c said on 08 October 2014

I have been on this injection since february 2013 as I used to get painful cramp when I had my periods, so this injection was supposed to stop me from getting periods so there would be no pain. I had no bleeding up until july 2013 where there was a few days when I had light bleeding. However since then I have had no bleeding at all up until yesterday. The injection is great for stopping periods but you dont know when you will randomly bleed and you do not know how long the bleeding will last for which is very annoying!

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MaisyM87 said on 20 September 2014

For those of you coming off the injection to try for a baby; almost 9 months after my last injection, my periods have just started again. I know everyone is different but hopefully this will give you an idea of what to expect! It doesn't necessarily mean that I will be fertile yet however... Watch this space :o)

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Disappointed unhappy said on 14 September 2014

Would not recommend this injection thought it was a really good when I read the leaflet that was provided by the nhs however I have been on the injection for 5 months and I have put on over 2 stone due to putting this weight on so quickly I have stretch marks all over my body and I'm sleepy all of the time. 2 months into my first injection I was bleeding for just under a month when I went to my doctors to get the second injection I mentioned this and they said it was normal with your first injection however I am now on my second injection and have been bleeding for just under two months I have now got less than a month left and I will not be having this injection again. The leaflet that was given to me by my doctor didn't give all of the side affects if I knew what I did now I wouldn't have gone onto it . Please consider this before having it !

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WelshGalJo said on 05 September 2014

I am currently on the depo injection and have decided to have the implant instead. This decision is purely to save having to visit my GP every 12 weeks (this is the only inconvenience I have experienced!). I have only had spotting once or twice and have been on the injection for a few years. My periods stopped straight away, I havent put any weight on whatsoever (although I do exercise regularly) and it certainly has not affected my sex drive! I have recommended the injection to a friend, she continued to have bleeding for the first month on and off but the bleeding was light and has now completely stopped, she has not experienced any other symptoms whatsoever.

My GP made it very clear from the start that getting pregnant after coming off this injection might take a while, so it doesnt sound like the best contraceptive for those who are planning children in the near future but this is not something I am planning so cannot comment.

I felt had to post a comment as after reading others made by people who have had the Implant fitted, it scared the hell out of me, so I decided to read these to compare. If I hadnt experienced the injection for myself and just read some of these comments I think I would have been put off!

Whilst I appreciate everyone is different and affected by medication in different ways, I wouldnt hesitate to use this method of contraception again. The implant is being fitted within the next month, wish me luck!!

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littlemissbikerchick said on 21 August 2014

After reading all the scare stories written here I felt I needed to comment for anyone considering the injection it isn't all bad! Everyone reactions to medicines in different ways. On a whole I have had no problems having the injection every 12 weeks saved me having to remember to take the pill. Not only that I use to have chronic period pain which made me so ill, all that has gone and after 2 injections my periods stopped all together. I have gained a bit of weight but is down to my poor diet choices, it would be easy to blame the injection but I can't. I went to a contraception clinic and they warned me several times about the time it takes for fertility to return so I was prepared for the fact I've not had a period since I stopped having the injection 5 months ago.
I am a migraine sufferer and these injection have not affected that or made them worse. I had no lack of sex drive whilst I was having the injections, no emotional problems and no pain during sex. My only negative is having an injection but it's over in seconds.
I feel sorry for those people who did have these problems and I'm sorry they did not have the advice I was given about delayed return of fertility! On the other hand I did not enjoy being on the pill, we are all different.

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MaisyM87 said on 01 August 2014

If you think you may want kids in the next 1-2 years then this is not for you! I had my last injection at the end of December '13 and over 7 months later I still have not got my periods back. I have read that it can take 1-2 years to become fertile again which is a pain as my partner and I want to start trying for a baby.
Also, a side effect of the jab that I have found is that sex is very painful and sore which is causing problems in my relationship (he is understanding, but I am frustrated!) I have had all sorts of tests to rule out other causes and didn't have any issues with dryness and over tightness before the jab.
So, if you don'T like sex and don'T want kids and are just looking for something to stop your periods then this may be for you!

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Jessica Louise said on 30 July 2014

I'm 18 years old and I have been thinking about getting this injection. I've been with my boyfriend for a year and I love him and reading these comments have made me wonder wether or not its a good idea. I'm 18 I dont want to loose my sex drive or my boyfriend. I want to marry him not loose him. On top of this my body can't handle oestrogen and I have cluster headaches. I already have depression and I dont want it to get any lower than I already is at times. Any advice?

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MaisyM87 said on 27 July 2014

I feel slightly misled by my doctor as I did not realise how long it would take to become fertile again after coming off the injection. My last jab was at the end of Dec '13 and 7 months later still no sign of a period. Also whilst on the jab I noticed sex was very extremely painful, I was dry and far too tight. I had all sorts of tests and these symptoms could not be attributed to anything else. This as you can imagine has put a strain on our relationship. He doesn't want to hurt me and I am frustrated! I wouldn't recommend this method of contraception to anyone! The only benefit I found was not having any periods as my natural periods were pretty horrific. Stick to the pill...

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muffins82 said on 14 July 2014

I was useless with taking the pill and I was due to get married and didn't ideally want to fall pregnant prior to the wedding/honeymoon so opted for the injection. I had
2 which took me to beginning of May which time wise worked out well for us. I have yet to have a period and we are desperate for our 2nd child. Does anyone have any idea how long it takes for it to wear off - even just after 2 shots!? I was greatly mislead by my Dr! Since having them I got acne on my back and chest. No other symptoms like other people stand out but I certainly do not recommend this form of contraception if you have any interest in having children within a year of finishing it. Gutting.

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shell68vespa said on 10 July 2014

I am having Depo-provera to regulate my periods not for contraception and although I experienced a lot of the symptons described including a prolonged spell of bleeding (about 3 weeks), its really working for me. I suffer from tremendous ovulation pain (mittelschermz) and its helped with that too.
I haven't experienced ANY weight gain (I am trying to lose weight) and if you eat sensibly then the majority of the women who have the injection won't gain weight either.

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Gazzaman263 said on 10 July 2014

I have had 4 shots and now suffering from the after effects of not using it.

My symptoms are
falling over

When your on it, It's hard to get turned on (i.e wet), Your whole personality could change, While on this considered leaving my partner as i felt no love their get off it, I love him to bits. Then on top of that it's now going to take 1 year possibly more for my body to go back to normal. I need to get my bones checked out as this drug can damage them and can mis align hips, shoulders etc. This is possibly the worst decision you can make, condoms don't stuff up your body with chemicals and hormone changes.

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lilmaisie said on 07 July 2014

Having this injection is the worst decision i've made. Me and and my partner are in a long term relationship, and ive had problems with lots of other pills, plus the coil so I thought this would be a good idea. Firstly it started with spotting all the time, everyday, cannot have/want sexual intercouse due to this. sex drive zero due to the injection. Now nearly due for my second injection I will not be going back for it due to spotting now turning into heavy bleeding, so seems extremely pointless to me,personally, to have another injection for protection when not even having even having sexual intercourse. My doctor says go for the next injection however i cannot justify to myself (or my partner) how another 12 weeks of constant bleeding and no sexual intercouse would help us as a form of contraception. Anyone else felt like this? I almost feel like catch 22, having another injection may help my symptons however, if not another 12 weeks of pointless contraception.

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booand bee said on 06 July 2014

iv been on the injection for 3 month's ie 1 injection but my husband and are have decided to come off and try for 1 last baby any idea how long it will will effect my conception or my periods to come back on I was due to have my next injection on the 2nd july 2014

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priska007 said on 03 July 2014

I've been on the injection for about a year and a half. I had irregular periods but they eventually stopped. I had my last injection in december 2013 n I was due for my next injection in february but I missed my date and when I went to the clinic they told me I have to wait for my periods to come back. It's been almost 5 months now since then and I haven't had my periods. I get abdorminal pains and breast pains that come and go and I've lost a significant amount of weight. Have any of you experienced any of the symptoms above and how did you feel after stopping?

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ellie1994 said on 26 June 2014

I've been on this injection for almost two years. The first three months I bled heavily everyday, then after my 2nd injection it stopped completely. However I have had awful mood swings, and completely lost my sex drive. What's the point in having the injection if I don't want to be sexually active?! The past two months I have bled almost every too, so I am thinking of coming off this injection completely. It has really put stress on my long term relationship, and to me it is not worth the cons.

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jolene870 said on 24 June 2014

I'm so glad I decided to look into the side effects people were reporting as it has explained an awful lot about how I've been feeling the past year. My curiosity peaked this weekend as I realised for a very long time I've had no sex drive at all, which is affecting things for both my confidence and my partners. It seems the contraceptive is mostly effective as the lack of sex drive, weight gain, bone issues, depression, mood swings, spots etc are all reasons to stop you having sex in the first place! I would probably advise anyone thinking about using it to give it a go as every woman's body is different but tread with caution as it seems an awful lot of women are experiencing the same things. Thanks for your comments ladies, you've made me feel comforted knowing you're going through the same. I will definitely be going back to the patch, never had problems with that.

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Kirstyn20 said on 19 June 2014

Samii15 i have had exactly the same issues. I was on the depo for 3 1/2 years and missed my last injection in feb this year. I took me until last week to have a slight bleed but it literally lasted overnight and then stopped. As it is I have had the same situation happen to me today, this morning i was clear but by mid afternoon i was bleeding again. At the same time i have had severe bloating and been feeling extremely sick. I have done a pregnancy test so i know im not pregnant but just fed up with my body being all over the place. I have found i am more emotional now then what i ever was on the injection because my body is craving to go back to normal! Dont know if many others have had this issue but there is only so much stopping and starting you can take!

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Charlotte rose x said on 08 June 2014

I've been on the depo jab for 3 years now, I'm 19 and I'm a now size 18/20 in clothes, I've put on a lot of weight! When I first started the injection I was a size 12, then went to a size 14 and then a 16. I've tried all sorts, gym exercise everything nothings worked! My next depo jab in due next month but I'm going to start something else because this weight is getting out of control, it makes you eat more even when your not hungry, only good thing about it that it's stopped my periods full stop, I've not had 1 for over 2 years now, I want to go on something that doesn't make me put on loads of weight, it says that you put on 2-3kg but I've put on stones, any advice would be great

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Rml109 said on 04 June 2014

There are lots of negative stories below (because people often only post bad news!) so I thought I would share a good experience. I have been on the Depo for over 15 years. I have had no trouble with it at all, and it has worked really well. I am only thinking of coming off it as I have become concerned about the long term effect on my bones (I have a high risk of bone thinning due to other factors, so have decided I should try and reduce the risks I can limit). All the evidence suggests risk to bone thinning disappears once the Depo is stopped. I would recommend the Depo highly for those who want contraception and relief from painful/heavy/extensive periods.

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meg88 said on 31 May 2014

I was on the injection for 18 months and it has caused me and my relationship a great deal of stress.

Didn't affect my moods.
I actually lost weight and didn't crave food more than normal.
No periods at all during the whole time.

My last injection was due mid April so I am around 6 weeks over due and still no sign of period. Can anyone say how long it took theirs to return?
The WORST thing for me is the affect on my sex drive. I took this injection to enjoy sex without risk of pregnancy. Over time my sex drive has decreased to zero. Now I don't think about sex, never feel like it, find it really difficult to get in the mood and things gradually got worse to the point that dryness and over-thinking now make sex impossible. It's reassuring to read that other women have had similar issues. I am a healthy 25 year old and had a completely happy, relaxed sex life before this. Really distressing for me and especially for my boyfriend whose confidence is obviously affected.

Really hoping that over time my body and hormones will return to normal but I regret the injection so much.

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xclairebell said on 24 May 2014

This is the second time I've had the injection even though I've had a year gap between both of them. The first one increased my sex drive and decreased the periods. I got the second injection on Thursday and it seems fine apart from my hip aching and hot flushes. The 2nd one I got was the day after I started my period and since then it's been really light because the injection has been affective straight away because you are so supposed to get them while you're due on within a few days or while you are on. I've no belly cramps well really painful ones since I got the second one. Hopefully they will stop while on Holiday in 2 months time.

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sever94 said on 20 May 2014

I had the injection about 3 days before I was due on my period because I was going on holiday the day I had it and didn't want to get my period (which worked), but about 11 days after I had the injection, I had unprotected sex with an old friend. Is there any chance I could be pregnant? I haven't done a pregnancy test as it's only been 4 days, but I'm starting to panic after my friend told me about her friend who fell pregnant on it.

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mellx said on 13 May 2014

I get my injection every 3 months, I had unprotected sex about 3 months ago on a Friday but came on the following morning. My next injection was due on the Monday. However I had lost the letter for my appointment so didn't go to get it, which then delayed getting my next injection until the following Friday. Does this mean I was still protected on the Friday night that I had unprotected sex? I've been getting cramps and my belly is a bit bloated so I have been working myself up a bit about it.

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Ladywriter1968 said on 30 April 2014

To add for those first timers of Depo like myself, when she stuck the injection in my behind it stung a bit and made me jump when it went it. Never had a needle there before, but its not really in the bum she put it, its in the muscle at the back on the upper side I would say, nearer to your side then in your actual bum cheek. cause I pulled my trousers down as I thought it went in the bum cheek but it goes up higher one side. I would say more like on your side at the back. I have read good and bad stories here about this. I am 45 and wanted to give it a go. I dont want weight gain as trying to drop weight but when I took the pill it didnt affect my weight and years ago when I took the pill I actually lost weight with it. It did reverse to me. See what happens, watch this space....

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Ladywriter1968 said on 30 April 2014

I just had this jab today. the 12wk one, years ago I took the pill and it actually made me lose weight, I hear it makes lots gain weight, over the years I have gained weight and been trying to lose it for a long time, so see what comes of this jab that I had. Before this I also took the pill and I did not gain weight. but did not lose it either.

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harrietjadex said on 17 April 2014

I'm 19 and had the injection in February, I didn't have a period for a while, was thinking this was going to be really good. I then had a period and it was very heavy and irregular as said, but I didn't mind as they warned me. Stopped after 9 days. Started again 2 weeks later, with a very light period, didn't bother me because it was so light, but it did when it didn't stop. 4 weeks later, I stopped for one day, then started again. Have knee pains, back ache, headaches, gained weight, very moody, spotty. Don't recommend this at all. Really think before you have it done.

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Samii15 said on 10 April 2014

Anybody else having a problem with periods ? I came off the depo injection 2nd oct my injection was due & i missed it. I have had 4 days of bleeding in 6 months, going to the doctors and all they say is it will come back, its all normal. I am constantly stressed bad. Anyone else like this ?

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helloworld240 said on 09 April 2014

I started the depo when I was 16 and stayed on it for 6 years. I had very heavy periods before I started the injection, lasting 10 days at a time. In the first few months of being on the injection I had a small amount of spotting, but right up until I had my last injection I had no periods, no pains, no mood swings at all. The only problem was the weight gain. Obviously I was aware that as I grew up I would gain weight, and the weight did average out at about 2-3kg per year as the page says, but I went from a size 8 to a 14 and it was quite damaging to my self-esteem. I found it very difficult to control my weight even with slimming groups etc as I was hungry all the time, I tried a variety of different diets but nothing seemed to make a difference. I stopped the injection in June 2013 to try and lose a bit of the weight and also to make sure everything was still working. My doctor (who was previously a gyno for many years) told me she would be surprised if my periods returned before December of that year, but I actually started in August (my mum puts it down to our family being "extra fertile" -_-). Since then my periods have been relatively normal, if a bit irregular, especially considering how bad they were before the injection. Between August and December they were lighter and every two weeks, but throughout 2014 they have been monthly and a bit heavier (5-7 days), though this is still manageable. As of April 2014 I am considering either the implant or going back on the injection as I have a new partner. The only thing putting me off is the weight gain/constant hunger which doesn't seem to be a problem with the implant. This is only my personal experience with this but I would definitely recommend it as the convenience of not having pains or periods far outweighs the disadvantage of the weight gain if only used for a couple of years. I am tempted to try the injection again sticking to a rigorous diet and see how that works.

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SofiaImani said on 01 April 2014

I've had the depo before when I was 16. It worked great for me at that time. 1 injection. I didn't have a period for a year and a half. Everything was great. I was foot loose and fancy free lol

Although I had my daughter in 2012 and decided this would be the best bet for me as I hate periods it's 1 less thing to worry about. The 1st injection was fine. As I went for the 2nd it was were the problems started. Continuous bleeding, mood swings, weight gain, loss of sex drive, back and knee pain.

Considering I wanted to be protected from pregnancy. I gained more problems. I proceeded to take the medication until the spotting stopped but this was not the case a whole year of spotting I was due to get ma last injection December 30th 2013.
I decided not have the injection again. I wanted this medication for a contraceptive it changed my life for a year.

I would not recommend this treatment.

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fernn said on 22 March 2014

I'm 18 and have been on Depo for six months. Thought I'd share my experience as I came looking on here to help me decide to get the injection or not, and I thought I could help anyone who's on the fence like I was.
No periods since I had my first injection
Haven't had to worry about using condoms
Haven't had to worry about taking a pill every day (which I was rubbish at!)

That's where the good bits end really. I may not have had a period, but for the last two or three weeks of each injection, I've had spotting every other day or so that has gotten quite heavy and clotty looking. It's only a very small amount, but it's there every time I go to the loo and is quite inconvenient. I've had period like symptoms before each bout of bleeding (mild back and stomach ache). And where I may not have gotten pregnant while being on Depo, I think the lack of sex drive I've had as a result of being on the injection is as much of a contributing factor as the injection doing it's thing. My sex drive does begin to return when I'm coming to the end of each injection, but the constant spotting I also get towards the end of the injection puts a downer on my excitement. I've also gone up a dress size since being on Depo. Although I'm not sure the injection is entirely to blame, since Christmas and New Year has passed while I've been on Depo, there is no way I would have put this much weight on over Christmas or New Year normally. My boyfriend claims I've become moodier since starting the injection, and I have noticed that I've become more irritable.
I personally am going to swap back to the pill after my current injection,but my advice, if you're on the fence, would be to give it a go. All of these reviews may seem more negative than positive, but every woman is different. You don't know how the injection is going to effect you until you try it, and it could be the best thing you ever did!

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Ilovemarmite said on 17 March 2014

I am 42 and have used the depo provera twice. First time after having my son (now 18) for 2 years. (My son's existence is testament that I cannot be trusted to remember to take the pill) It stopped my periods immediately without any spotting. It reduced my sex drive dramatically though and my weight ballooned. When I stopped the injection it took 10 months for my periods to return. One day I woke up feeling like a raging bull. I felt so cross all the time (I'd never experienced PMS) A week later my periods returned. First period was brown, otherwise normal, then all periods normal after that.
8 years later I went back on the Depo Provera when I married my second husband in 2007. Again, my periods stopped immediately, and sex drive plummeted within a year, and weight went back up. I had my last injection last month and we have now decided to try for a baby ASAP. I am aware that periods may take some time to return and my clock is ticking.
Not for everyone due to weight gain and reduced sex drive. Great not having to take pill or manage periods.

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luckyxxx said on 15 March 2014

I have been on the Depo injection did almost 4 years. This seems quite a white, and I will be stopping it shortly to have a baby.

To begin with, I had my first injection and had no problems at all and no bleeding, after 12 weeks I got my second injection and I was very lightly bleeding for a couple of week straight. because it was so light, it wasn't too big of a problem. after my third injection, I never got any periods and they've completely stopped which is brilliant. (going to hate getting them again).

I have had weight gain but I couldn't tell you if it's because of the injection, it's just from being happy and eating more but I used to be a size 8, now I'm a 12. but I doubt this is because of the injection.

they say the injection can take up to a year for your periods to come back, therefore I will be going on the pill until I am ready to have a baby, because I don't want it to take ages due to the injection.
It is worth considering by those who forget to take the pill, and who don't like the idea of the implant.

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Joanna8888 said on 02 March 2014

I'm 25 and was on the injection 6-7 years.
I had no side affects at all, no weight gain, no loss of sex drive, nothing. also I had no periods.
So i thought it was great. I'd recommend it.
We decided in August 2013 to try for a baby as we feel we're settled and ready, so I came of my injection and went onto the pill, when I read up on how long the injection can take to come out of your system I got really worried that it would take so long for me to have a baby, also that periods would not come back regular.
I read some sad story's,
So by September 2013 I decided to come of the pill an just let my body get back to normal, and guessed it would take about a year for my body to recover

Well by the end of December i had my first period, that lasted 4 days then the end of jan I had my second, same day on and same day off, and now the end of February I have just found out I am 3+ weeks pregnant. :)

I've wrote this because I read such bad story's it really scared me so i thought I'd let everyone see that it can be ok and not take that long. I no everyone is different but I hope this calms a few peoples nerves :)

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cairnslouise25 said on 26 February 2014

well iv been on the injection since july last year all was fine no periods atall since. but i gained a dress size and still gaining frequent urination extreme bloating cramping and wind sore knees really bad acne red patches on skin and extreme tiredness and sick feeling espesh on first week of recieving each injection.
i am now at my wits end of what to try next as each and every method has had bad side effects with me :(
getin me down im 25 have three kids but got to point i would consider steralisation to avoid all the havock but as im still young i feel it wouldnt be right incase i decided i wanted another kid.

i have tried absolutely every contraceptive apart from coil and patch.
pill makes me have pregnancy symptoms to point i actually have sickness. implant made me bleed constantly for nearly a year and now this....anyone the same. feel astho my bodys rejecting all of them. men defo have it easy!

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Ailesh said on 25 February 2014

I am 18 years of age started the depo on the 4th of July 2013 when I was 17 years of age.
During the 12 weeks of my first injection, I had a period for 6 weeks none stop with a lot of blood clots.
During the 12 weeks of my second injection, I was spotting every single day for the 12 weeks (making it very awkward to have a casual day out without the worry of bleeding).
I had my third injection on the 4th of February and have been having very bad knee pains, to the point where I can't put any weight at all on my right knee, I have never had this problem before. I've not had any period/spotting at all since my third injection.
I have been very gassy since I started the depo. I have no sex drive what so ever which kind of defeats the object of why I'm on the depo!
There is a lot of things you should consider before going on the depo, as it can cause you a lot of problems! I have also been suffering from daily migraines since I started the depo.
I hope this information makes you have a long hard think about going on the depo!

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shannonk said on 25 February 2014

Hi all,
I started the depo injection in January 2013. At first it was great i had no periods which was great. However after 2-3 months i started gaining weight drastically i went from a size 12 to 14 and when i went to the doctors they said it was what i was eating which is completely wrong as im a very active healthy person,, i also have no sex drive get constant back pain and have quite bad acne!
it has made me very depressed and i no longer feel sexy or want my long term partner to see me as i have ugly stretch marks from the dramatic weight gain.

so to anyone considering it really look into it and if you can easily put on weight i wouldn't recommend it at all.

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Pushybird said on 24 February 2014

**sorry June 2012! Doh! **

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Pushybird said on 24 February 2014

Hi all.
Started depo injection nov 2009, had last one June 2013. No periods, nothing! Decided this is a bit odd as over a year has passed now, went to docs. Referred me for blood tests, if they come back inconclusive, it's an ultrasound & if that comes back inconclusive then I'm referred to gynaecology :-/ apart from that though, it was fine.

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Charlotte17 said on 18 February 2014

Hi All I am 22 almost 23.

I started depo September 2011 and instantly my period stopped, I had occasional spotting but nothing major.

No periods
no pregnancy

After a few injections my sex drive went to 0! I was never in the mood found it very difficult to get turned on
Very dry all the time...
Weight gain
tired all the time (but this could be down to having a b12 deficiency aswell)
Lots of gass and constipation which then caused internal hemmeriods which required surgery.
awful acne!
breast tenderness

I have since stopped the depo in October 2013 and four months on still no return of period, sex drive slowly returning.

Please really consider this before starting, everyone I know who has had the injection experienced major lack of sex drive, and mostly we are having this to enjoy sex without risk of pregnacy.

I am currently on no contraception and using condoms with my long term partner, as much as this is a annoyance I want my body bad to normal!

Can anyone out there let me know how long it took for there periods to return?


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Authorunknown said on 28 January 2014

I have been on the depo for roughly 2 and a half years now and I started when I was 16
Pros :-
1) didn't have periods after that, had one instant of light spotting every 3-4 months but nothing major and never bothered me. not having periods were amazing as I had heavy periods and incredible period pain, would even be sick they were so painful.
2) haven't got pregnant!!

1) lack of sex drive, it's not so much that I don't want sex, just don't ever feel turned on and v dry down in that area.
2) I do feel very tired all the time but I just thought it was regular teenage behaviour but after reading these comments it's very common so must be due to the contraceptive
3) I have developed bad IBS where I'm very gassy and get constipation.
4) recently this past month I have been on for about a month which is very strange for me as I never used to come on. now I am on almost every day and it's irregular and not stopping! It's been just over 4 weeks now, I don't know yet what the cause of this is and will be seeing my doctor soon, may be from other causes.

I personally dont think I have put much weight on, if anything I've lost some and if I do put on weight it's very slight and I'd put it down to my eating. And I haven't had any problems with weak bones either.

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cityashley said on 04 December 2013

I have been on the depo for about 2 and a half years now. I had got pregnant on the pill so i moved to the injection. Getting straight to the point, does anyone struggle having sex? Since i started using the injection, it hurts so much not comfotable for me at all.. Is this a side effect also?

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reddeviltigger said on 26 November 2013

I have been on the depo since I was 15 for 12 yrs. It was good for me as I had no periods and therefore no pain. I gained weight at the beginning but soon learnt how to control the cravings when I got the jab every 11-12 week's. I came off it at age 27 to have a child. Within 4 weeks I had my first period and by the third month I was pregnant. I have not suffered with any bone weakness. 6 weeks after giving birth I went back on it. It's now been another 3 yrs and at 31 decided to come off it to try for my second child. Again 4 week's later I had a period then fell pregnant I was late for the 2 month after coming off it.

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Shanshanx said on 22 November 2013

I had the depot injection in 2012 November (9months ago) I have not had no contraception what so ever since then, since I've come off the depot the first jab I never went to get the second one, I had periods straight after and still haven't fell pregnant..

Side effects
Gained weight, loss of sex drive,an can't tell if it is in your system still!!!!!

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Angusbiggs said on 03 November 2013

I have been using the contraceptive injection for 24 weeks now since having a bad reaction on the implant and always forgetting to take the pill. One big thing I've noticed is that i haven't had a period since starting the depo which has been great and haven't gotten pregnant which is the reason I went on it in first place. I have also realised unlike many people I have actually lost weight since being on the injection, even though I
am constantly hungry and have cravings for fatty foods.

I have had 3 major side effects though since being on it which are:-

1. I am constantly tired. I get at least 9 hours sleep each night but am still always tired. It's constant which means every opportunity I get I sleep.

2. Headaches. I have never suffered from migraines since before being on the injection but ever since starting it I have experienced them so severe it stops me doing normal day to day things.

3. Period pain with no period? At least twice every week I get shooting pains in my lower abdomen as if I'm about to start my period but no period follows. These pains normally come in waves and I tend to feel quite sick with them. These waves can last anything from a few minutes to a few hours.

All in all this product has done what it says but i think unless my symptoms improve I will be seeking other contraceptive methods.

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RenataD said on 27 October 2013

Hi all,
I've been on the Depo for about 8 years now since having my son now 10.
I've not been told about the thinning of bone !
I was on Depo before I had son for couple years, stopped it in the May and got caught in December same year, unfortunately miscarried then got caught again in February with twins, only 1 survived,
I'm now remarried and we want a baby of our own, I'm now 33 and husband is 55 with 3 grown boys, my husband had snip 18 years ago. We are going to look at IVF but was wondering if anyone knew how long the Depo will take to come out of my system this time after being on it for so long?

Any ideas?

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Rachy818 said on 22 October 2013

I started the depo injection in 2009 i was happy with it until me and my partner wanted to try for a baby.
I found it very difficult, i had irregular bleeding all time and found it hard to fall pregnant. It took a year to fall pregnant and sadly suffered a miscarriage, i believe it was the after effects of the depo took another year to fall pregnant and i carried him full term but it was hard getting to that point. I think the depo injection does more to our bodies then we know, no periods is great......but that's nature start messing with that , you wil get problems.

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lois80 said on 21 October 2013

I've been having the injections since 1998, aged 18, and cannot fault them until the last 12 months.
I did put weight on and do have regular tender breasts but these con's do not outway the pro's for me - no periods and no babies.
But the last 12 months has been hard - regular bleeds and mood swings, weaken bones. I am now aged 33 and have only just decided that I will come off the injection and try for a baby.....reality is now that it could take years to become pregnant and my age is slighty against me.
Time will tell I guess!

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rebecca29 said on 17 October 2013

iv had the depo for 3 years.....
Pro it stopped my periods
Had full protection against pregnancy

BUT Pro's r these
Weight gain is conciderable
Tired all the time
I now have a weak back and a loose pelvis as the injection does affect ur bones
I stopped the depo in jan of this year and my period's have only just returned after 9 months!
I would urge people 2 think twice on useing this before getting all of the facts i had none of these facts i was told a slight weight gain not a whole dress size and was not informed of the weakening of the bones either

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rebecca29 said on 17 October 2013

I have used the injection for 3 years i started in 2010 my last one was in jan of 2013 only now have i began to have a period 9 months later!like many others in tired all the time moody and have gained a considerable amount of weight through the injection which in turn has made me unhappy.also i have a very weak back and pelvis now which also is caused by this injection which i was not informed of when i was given the option to try this jab! I would think twice before using this jab weigh out all the issues u may get first i wish now i hadn't used it at all.

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Chris_Christina_38 said on 19 September 2013

I’ve been on Depo-Proverad since March 2013. This was offered to me as long term option as I have been with my partner for 6 years.

I’ll start with the pro’s – I haven’t had a period since I had my first jab. Second I don’t need to remember every morning to take a pill!

Now the con’s – based on my experience …
I’ve gained a stone in weight – this has been over the space of 3 jabs. I know the advice said 5 to 8 pounds over a certain time. But I do believe this is dependent on lifestyle and body type and should be monitored by the GP or sexual health nurse.

My skin type has changed from combination to oily – and has developed really bad acne. This makes me feel quite low sometimes as there isn’t a clear time.

I feel tired a lot and my sex drive is low … combining weight gain and spots – it’s not an easy mood pick up!

I’m half way through my last jab and I’ll defiantly be seeking a new contraceptive!

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User799741 said on 29 August 2013

I had my last depo injection in jan 2013.(I was on it for 10yrs with no problems or periods) I had my first period in July, 7weeks later my second, which to date.. Has lasted 7days and doesn't seem to be stopping. It's not heavy, but it's lasting longer than I would like. we have been trying for a baby since my first period in July, and nothing. I'm worried also it may take a few years before I fall pregnant. i knew it could take time after coming off depo or any contraception but depo seems to be the worst. I've tried to find other forums with similar problems but all posts seem to be years old.

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Amy13 said on 12 August 2013

I've been on the depo injection for nearly 5 and half years.. Since I was 16 years old.. As I couldn't have the normal pill due to family blood.. I haven't had a period since I was 16 which I love as I had a lot of problems with it.. I get really bad mood swings and bad headaches, I've also put so much weight on and find it so hard to loose it, I also get very depressed near the time I'm due one. But it's quick and easy and I know I won't get pregnant :)

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JasVoigt said on 09 August 2013

I've been on the injection for about 9 and half months now, in that time I've put on almost 3 stone, gone up 4 dress sizes and completely lost all forms of sex drive. Every time I mention this to my doctors they tell me it's just what I've been eating, which is completely untrue as compared to last year I'm eating so much healthier. Once my next 3 months is up I'm going on the mini pill, as I'm not allowed to take the combined one due to high stroke risks, through having this injection my self confidence has completely dropped and I don't feel like myself anymore.

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L1993 said on 08 August 2013

lisabecky & Kyleesmommy2001, I know exactly what you are both experiencing, I have only been on the injection just under a year and I have no sex drive, which is difficult for myself and my partner- who I love very much. I'm always tired and really irritable, I have not had a period for 8 months!

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Kyleesmommy2001 said on 22 July 2013

LisaBecky, I know exactly what your going through. i was on depo for three yrs. i stopped getting it for a while and had a baby lol. went back and got put back on it right after having my daughter.. shes now 2 and a half.. but i have no energy, I always wanna sleep. im having relationship problems because i have no sex drive. ive been with my bf for almost five yrs i love him to
death but im just never i the mood. i have no appitite. i just dont feel like myself. i havent since having my daughter. thinking i may try something else.

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lisabecky said on 14 July 2013

i have been on depo for over a year and not had a period for 9 months. i find life very hard with a 5 yr old with autism & an active 3 yr old. I find myself getting very angry with my kids and generally everyone around me, i love my fiance (of 13 yrs) very much & cant believe he still wants to be with me but i find it really difficult being intimate with him....Has anybody else experienced or is going through anything similar since being on the injections????

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sian67 said on 20 April 2013

Ive been on the deop injection and it has worked well I've been on this twice ,but I had a baby last year and I'm on the depo injection , I havent had a period since after having baby but im starting to spot and dont no why

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Jane1234 said on 22 February 2013

I developed bad IBS after being prescribed contraceptive pill. There is evidence it can destroy beneficial bacteria in the gut leading to this problem. Given the evidence that it also increases risks of certain cancers why are doctors interfering with the hormones of healthy young women?

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