irregular menstrual cycle

I am experience irregular periods while using Depo-Provera

Question: I have been on depo for about 12 years.  I got a shot on Wednesday, may 11, and suddenly had a period start on Saturday.  I was due for the shot starting may 9, was the earliest possible date. I had spotting before, but nothing like this.  It is starting to taper off now.  My questions are:  in between getting the shot and the period, my husband and I had sex.  I am wondering if I have anything to worry about as far as possible pregnancy.   Also, since I had a period after the shot, am I still protected for three months?  I am interested in switching methods, as I have been gaining weight steadily the last few years on the shot.  How long after the injection can I switch methods?  Thanks so much for your time in answering my questions.

Answer:  Irregular menstrual cycle and changes in weight are side effects of using Depo-Provera.  If you received your injection on time (within 12-13 weeks of your last injection), you would be at low risk for an unintended pregnancy until you are due for your next injection.  However, because abstaining from sex is the only 100% way to avoid pregnancy and disease, I would encourage you to take pregnancy test if you are concerned.  If you are interested in getting tested for pregnancy or discussing other contraceptive options, please call 440-352-0608 (Painesville) or 440-992-5953 (Ashtabula) to schedule an appointment.

What kind of birth control can help regulate my period?

Question: I started birth control when I was around 15 to help with my extremely irregular period cycle, then my mom’s company chose to drop her health insurance (and mine) a few years later due to the Affordable Care Act. The price of my birth control skyrocketed so we couldn’t afford the pills anymore and I haven’t been on them for maybe a year or two. I am 20 now and my period has gone back to being extremely irregular; it didn’t come for months at a time and now it came and I’ve had it nonstop for two months so far (it’s still ongoing). I am not sexually active, nor have I ever been.

How would I go about getting back on birth control?

Would I need another vaginal exam (my doctor did one when I first started birth control)?

How much would it cost?

Also, is there any biological reason my period would be like this? I got my first period when I was 9 and it has always been irregular.

Answer:  It is normal for females under the age of 25 to experience an unpredictable menstrual cycle.  One advantage of using a combined hormonal contraceptive method, such as the pill, patch and ring, is the regulation of your menstrual cycle.  However, if you are not planning to become pregnant in the next year, a long acting birth control might be something for you to consider.  Both the Liletta and Mirena intrauterine device (IUD) offer 3-5 years of pregnancy prevention and a lot of women that use either the Liletta or Mirena experience no period at all, with exception of a light/spotty period once every couple of months.  Please call 352-0608 to make an appointment to discuss the variety of contraceptive methods with our staff.

Regulations involving pelvic exams have recently changed and females do not receive regular screening until they reach age 21.  However, if your last pelvic exam was abnormal or you have a history of any medical concerns, please let the staff know when you call to make an appointment.

The Family Planning Association of Northeast Ohio accepts private insurance, Medicaid or can set your cost using a sliding fee scale.  The clinic will ask you how much income your household brings in, how many people are living off of that income and asses the fee for your visit.  However, Family Planning can offer you services regardless of your ability to pay and accepts donations as well.

Why am I experiencing weight gain and irregular menstrual cycles when I am not currently on hormonal birth control?

Question:  Okay, I don’t really know where to begin. I was on birth control for two years and then I stopped taking it. I have gained a ton of weight in the past 6 months or so, and my periods have been every other month. They are not regular at all, and when I do get a “period”, its extremely light and its just basically spotting. I have taken multiple pregnancy tests, and they all come back negative. I got tested for a thyroid problem a while back, and he said it was a bit high. I am just wondering if there is anything you guys can do for me, or if I should just go see a regular doctor. I do not have any health insurance, and the doctors visits can get pretty pricey, which is why I am trying to avoid going. I do not want to be on birth control as I would like to have a kid sometime in my near future. If you could help me out, that would be great. Thank you!

Answer:  Depending on your age, it is normal to females under the age of 25 to have an irregular menstrual cycle and experience fluctuations in weight.  However, because you are not actively using a hormonal method, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with a primary care doctor and transfer your thyroid test results.  Similar to Family Planning, the Lake County Free Medical Clinic offers a sliding fee scale for individuals who are uninsured 440-352-8686.  If you are in need of an annual pelvic exam or assistance with applying for Medicaid, we encourage you to call Family Planning to schedule an appointment 440-352-0608.

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