How Can You Get Pregnant When You've Been On Depo-Provera?

Find out how long it really takes to get pregnant after stopping injections.
Michael Kraus

If you're one of the more than three percent of women on birth control who use Depo-Provera -- an injection of the hormone progestin that keeps you from ovulating --you might be wondering how can you get pregnant after you've stopped getting the shot.

A single shot of Depo-Provera provides three months of protection against pregnancy, so clearly you won't be able to conceive for at least that long, and it could take even longer than that. "It's possible to become pregnant after that three-month mark, but it usually takes several additional months for the complete effect of the hormone to dissipate and to begin ovulating and having regular periods again," says Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center, in New York City. For some women, it can take up to a year after the last shot to begin having regular periods, but for others it can happen as soon as four months after the last shot.

In one large study, the average time to get pregnant after discontinuing Depo-Provera was ten months. If you are thinking of getting pregnant within the next few months, Depo-Provera is probably not the best birth control option for you. But if you've got a bit of time, don't stress and start on that baby making!

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