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.
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.