family planning

5 Things to know about Depo Provera Injection - Effective Birth Control Method

  • 4.8 (10 Votes)

Depo Provera Injection is an effective birth control method for couples who want to avoid occurrence of pregnancy. You need to take it upto 4 times in an year. You can combine depo provera injection with oral contraceptive pills for better results. Always consult your doctor before taking birth control shot.

1. An Introduction

  • Depo Provera or often known as depo shots, depo, DMPA(depo medroxyprogesterone acetate) or simply birth control shot is an injection that is taken every 3 months in a year to prevent pregnancy.
  • It is a treatment for women by which couples can plan birth control or can prevent pregnancy.  
  • Depo Provera are more effective birth control methods than any contraceptive pill.
  • It is safe and convenient. If you don’t want to disclose your desire to prevent or control pregnancy with your partner, you can use this private birth control method and can plan for future.

2. Functions of Depo Provera

  • Depo Provera is one of the most effective methods as the hormone present in it control ovulation. No ovulation leads to no pregnancy.
  • First you need to visit the doctor who can inject the birth control shot in your upper arm. You will have to use a band-aid if it gives you any rashes.
  • The hormone present inside  Depo Provera thickens the cervical mucus inside the vaginal cavity which hinders the sperm to freely flow and meet the egg . Moreover, thickened mucus increase the acidic nature of vagina and sperm cannot survive in such nature, thus dying ultimately.
  • Depo Provera also prevents the eggs form releasing from ovaries. If eggs are not present for sperm to meet, no fertilization can takes place. This widely helps in birth control.

Birth Control

3. Time Interval  to take Depo Provera

  • Depo Provera is one of the most effective birth control methods. It shows the best results if you regularly take these injection every 12-13 weeks i.e. every 3 months or 4 times in a year.
  • First shot of Depo Provera must be taken within first 7 days after your period starts. This will give you a 95% assurance of preventing pregnancy.
  • If you take Depo Provera at some other time in your cycle, its recommended to use other birth control methods like condoms or contraceptive pills for the first week after getting the shot.
  • Depo Provera prevents pregnancy for 3 months. Hence, it is recommended to repeat the cycle every 3 month for better results of controlling pregnancy.

4. Missing Birth Control Shots

  • If you have missed your shots, your doctor will advise you to take the pregnancy test, if you had undergone vaginal intercourse in the previous 5 days or 120 hours.
  • If the shots are missed for 2-3 weeks, it quite possible that you may fall into your fertility zone and can attain pregnancy.
  • You can use different reminders to keep a regular check of your Depo Provera shots. You can use weekly alarms or calendars which can remind you of your shot. You can even ask any family member to help you in keeping a record.

5. Risk Factors with Depo Provera

  • No doubt, Depo Provera is one of the best birth control methods and it is 98% effective if taken every 3 months. However, it does not protects you from catching STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). To prevent STDs, you should always prefer using a condom with these birth control shots.
  • You can experience irregular or excessive bleedingfor 6 to 12 months. If such case, you must visit your doctor as soon as possible.
  • You should not go for Depo Provera if you have or had breast cancer. It can adversely affect your health.
  • You should not go for these birth control shots if you have fragile or thin bones.

Avoid Pregnancy

Depo Provera are proven effective birth control methods. If taken regularly, they will give the best results and will help you plan your pregnancy in future.

Recommended Reads

TTC after Depo Provera

Birth Control Implants Nexplanon and Implanon know how

Must Know About Birth Control Implant

Dr. Bhavna Banga

About The Author

Infertility Specialist, Gynecologist Dr. Bhavna Banga

Dr. Bhavna Banga is one of the top gynecologists and obstetricians at Max Multi Specialty Centre, Panchsheel Park, Delhi. She has a significant experience in treating patients with different infertility and gynecological health issues which prevent the occurrence of successful pregnancies. Dr. Bhavna completed MBBS from Pune and MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology from Mumbai. She is a crucial member of the department of gynecology at Max Multi Speciality Centre, Delhi. Dr. Bhavna specializes in the gynecological and fertility treatments including Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Normal Vaginal Delivery (NVD), Gynecological Problems, Infertility Treatments, Donor Egg Process as well as Surrogacy Procedures. You can find more details regarding Dr. Bhavna Banga and her expertise at



Sushmita Sengupta

I used to have irregular cycles as I started taking these shots. But with the course of time, irregular cycles and other side-effects got fixed except my increased weight.

Sept. 30, 2018, 9:16 a.m. 4.5


Nandini Baxi

Getting shots is quite harmful to our body so, minimize depo provera use as much as you can. You can have combination contraceptive pills to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

Sept. 12, 2018, 3:11 p.m. 4.5



My husband doesn't really like using contraceptive so I am thinking to have these shots. Please confirm where to find these shots and How much do they cost?

Aug. 8, 2018, 4:02 p.m. 5.0


Arwina Arwind

My friend advised me to have Depo Provera shots to avoid pregnancy. After reading this article, I can really make my mind to use them. Thanks for the post.

May 19, 2018, 9:56 p.m. 5.0



I took it for years. Didn't gain any weight and other symptoms. But once I stopped depo provera shots, my weight has gained faster and significantly.

April 2, 2018, 10:48 p.m. 5.0


Jessica Roller

I took depo for years. Highly effective, but not worth the side effects. Headaches, weight gain, brain fog and unbelievable anxiety, depression and mood swings.

April 1, 2018, 7:52 a.m. 4.5


Vinod Chander

I highly advise that any woman looking to start birth control, specially the DEPO shot should look into ALL the risks connected to it. It can be very dangerous.

April 1, 2018, 7:23 a.m. 4.5


Deepika Bhavnani

It's quite hard to have shots in every 3-4 months but it is really effective. Depo Provera does not require any other contraceptive along with it. I do not experience any side-effects with depo shot that's what makes it my choice.

Nov. 15, 2017, 3:51 p.m. 5.0


Sandhya Raghuvanshi

There are various kinds of birth control methods available such as hormonal or barrier type, birth control pills, birth control patches, vaginal rings, depo provera or shots and implants. A doctor's advice must be taken before using any of these.

Oct. 25, 2017, 3:59 p.m. 4.5


Sanjoli Jain

The one planning for avoiding pregnancy can try these methods to keep themselves reminded of their shots or depo provera. They can use a birth control reminder app. There's one more way where they can add it to whatever calendar they use on a daily basis. Family members and friends can also help ...

Oct. 25, 2017, 2:27 p.m. 5.0

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