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Q & A with Dr. Cullins: Birth Control

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    How soon after I stop using Depo-Provera can I plan on becoming pregnant?

    On average, it takes up to six months longer for women to get pregnant after they stop using Depo-Provera than it does for women stopping other methods. The vast majority  about 85 percent of those stopping other methods become pregnant within 12 months, but it takes up to 18 months for the same number of women to become pregnant after stopping Depo-Provera. About 90 percent of women stopping Depo-Provera become pregnant within two years. 

    Of course, pregnancy may happen anytime after 12 weeks following the last injection. But the average time between the last Depo injection and pregnancy is about nine months, including the three months during which the injection is effective. This is why Depo is not usually prescribed for women who are planning to have a child in the very near future.

    The fact is that some women just take longer to become pregnant than others, whether or not they have had injections of hormonal contraception. We strongly encourage you to consult with a qualified women's health care practitioner if you have not become pregnant within a year and a half after stopping Depo-Provera. It may be necessary to investigate areas other than contraceptive history in evaluating your fertility situation. 

    For a confidential appointment, contact your nearest Planned Parenthood health center.

Published: 11.07.06 | Updated: 11.07.06

This column is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have a medical problem, please call toll-free 1-800-230-PLAN for an appointment with the Planned Parenthood health center nearest you.

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