the shot

Depo-Provera birth control shot – due for shot and chance of pregnancy

Question: Hi I went on the depo shot Jan 6 and not sure when I was suppose to get the 2nd shot I think the end of March beginning of April. I had sex on 3/24 and pulled out took a pregnancy test yesterday 4/7 and there is a very light line where the pregnancy line should be.. Was there a slim chance I could have gotten pregnant? He did pull out, but I know there is still that chance, should I wait a few days to test again to see if the line gets darker? I have 3 kids the youngest being only 8 months and freaking out, the whole point in going on the depo I thought I was protected even on that last week before the next was due. Any advice would be appreciated

Answer:  The Depo-Provera shot is effective for 12-13 weeks, but no birth control is 100% effective.  If your first shot was January 6, that means you would be due for the second shot around March 31, so you should have been protected on the March 24 intercourse.  Remember that stress, as well as beginning a new birth control method can affect the timing of your period.  If you would like to make an appointment to have a pregnancy test done in our clinic, please call 440-352-0608 (Painesville) or 440-992-5953 (Ashtabula).  If you are not pregnant, you should also make sure to get your next shot as soon as possible to prevent future unplanned pregnancies.  This can be done without an appointment if you come in during the clinic’s Supply Times which can be found on our website at or by calling the clinic you prefer.

Is it normal to experience acne breakouts when using Depo-Provera (the shot)?

Question: I recently changed birth control methods from the pill to the depo shot, and suddenly I’m breaking out everywhere. I’ve rarely had acne all my life- usually only around the time of my period- but it has gotten really bad since receiving the shot. Is this normal? Is there a way to reduce the chance of this happening or a way to control it?

Answer:  Changes in acne is a common side effect of most hormonal birth control. If you are unhappy with the side effects of Depo-Provera, you have a few options:

  • Give it time.  Mild side effects often lessen or go away three to four months after starting or changing your contraceptive
  • Make changes in diet or facial cleanser
  • Consult a Dermatologist

If you have additional questions or would like to discuss other birth control options, please call 440-352-0608 (Painesville) or 440-992-5953 (Ashtabula).

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.

Which is better, the pill or the shot?

Question: Which is better, the pill or the shot?

Answer:  There are advantages and disadvantages to all methods of hormonal birth control.

Birth control pill:

  • Uses hormones (estrogen and progestin) to prevent ovulation
  • Efficacy: 92-99%
  • Take one pill a day at the same time
  • Advantages: Very effective when used correctly, can make menstrual cycle more regular and less painful
  • Disadvantages:  Need to remember to take daily, possible side effects due to estrogen, does not provide protection from sexually transmitted infections (STI) or HIV
  • Possible side effects: dizziness, nausea, headache, change in menstrual cycle, change in appetite, change in mood and although rare, possible chance of blood clots

The Shot:

  • The hormone progestin prevents ovulation
  • Efficacy: 97-99%
  • One shot every 3 months
  • Advantages: Each shot works for 12 weeks, no estrogen side effects, can be used while breast feeding
  • Disadvantages:  irregular menstrual cycles, does not provide protection from sexually transmitted infections (STI) or HIV
  • Possible side effects: headache, change in menstrual cycle, change in appetite, change in mood and in long time users, possible risk of decrease in bone mineral density

The best contraceptive choice depends on your medical history and personal goals.  I encourage you to call and make an appointment to discuss your options with our medical staff (440) 352-0608.

How do I change my birth control?

Question: I am switching from the depo shot to the birth control pills. My expiration date for my shot is February 10th, would I have to wait until then to start taking the birth control pills?

Answer:   You can take your first birth control pill up to 15 weeks after your last Depo injection.  However, I would suggest scheduling an appointment at Family Planning when you are due for your next Depo injection and discuss your options with the nurse.  Irregardless of what type of birth control you switch to, please use a back up method, such as condoms, during the first month.

How will the Affordable Care Act impact me?

Question: I’ve been kind of getting confused with the new Obama Care coming into play, and I’ve heard from peers that insurance companies will be required to give free birth control, is this true? Cause at the moment I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford the DeproVera shot or the Patch (I have blood clots, so I can’t be on the Pill) and my insurance company doesn’t cover much as it is. Can you please clarify the new birth control policies? Thank You

Answer:  The Affordable Care Act is going to impact everyone a little differently, depending on your insurance company and the plan you hold.  I would encourage you to contact your insurance agent or visit to explore your options.  You can also call Family Planning, schedule an appointment and we can work with you and your insurance.  Either way, we can work with you to make sure you are able to receive the best birth control method for you.  However, the patch (OrthoEvra) might not be a great alternative if you are unable to use birth control methods with estrogen.  I would encourage you to call Family Planning 352-0608 and schedule an appointment to discuss progestin only birth control options.

I forgot to go for my depo injection?

“I forgot to go for my depo injection. Im like 12 days late will this make me pregnant or should I just go and get it. How long after your due date can you go for the next depo or should i go on the date they give me?”

A: “Anytime a birth control method is used incorrectly there is a risk for pregnancy. Please contact your health care provider for additional information regarding your specific situation.”

Where do they give you the shot?

“1- Yes where on your person do they give you the shot. 2- Are doctors aloud to give you the shot in a prescription form -ie she gave me the prescription to go fill my self and take my self. 3- is this correct or is my doctor a bumb?”

A: “The birth control shot commonly known as Depo Provera is a hormonal method of birth control. A woman who chooses the shot as her method of contraception will receive the shot once every 3 months either in the arm or buttock. The shot is administered by a health care professional at the the doctor’s office.”