48 answers

Depo Shot

Has anyone else used the Depo shot as a form of BC? I just had twins, and I got the shot about 7-8 weeks after and at the beginning of this month I started losing hair like crazy, having mood swings, getting irritable alot easier, my sex drive is non-existant, and I'm having irregular bleeding and have been for WEEKS. Is this normal? How do you get this out of your system? Should I call my OB GYN?

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Thanks for all the advice, Mamas! I knew it was normal to lose hair, but I didn't figure it'd be like 500 a day (at least!). Definitely going to try alternative forms of BC now. Heard good things about Nuva-ring from alot of you, and in general, going to ask my doctor about that. =)

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Just like everyone else..I had the same symptoms and HATED Depo. I was very happy with the Nuva ring and Mirena IUD. I think those would be much easier for you. They are highly effective and WAY more tame. I have never known anyone who did well on Depo.

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Well I can tell you that, I was once on the depo shot and I had lost hair, had abnormal bleeding, and craps like crazy its just one of the side effects. Your best bet is for not follow up on the next shot you get and try some other type of bc, like the nuva ring or Mirena IUD.

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I had just 1 depo shot, and knew from the start it was the wrong choice for my body! I bled (yes almost everyday) for 9 months! I gained weight, my headaches were painful, I felt ill at the site or smell of food, mood swings and so on. I was told by the nurse that spotting is normal (I had a full flow for the first 3 months)and things would get better with the next shot. I did not want to go back ever, and thought I could wait it out. My husband MADE me go see another OB/GYN after the 9 month mark, and my iron was so low. He gave me a medication (clomid I think) so I would ovulate and start a real cycle again. It did the trick! I felt back to myself! I only wish I had switched to the new OB/GYN sooner instead of waiting so long!

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Hi R.,
The depo was horrible for me. I wouldn't worry that what you're going through is abnormal at all.....it sound's exactly like the side effects that some women get and others don't.

I had the non-stop bleeding. My OB said it will eventually go away and it never did. I did two of the shots and that was it for me. I couldn't take the bleeding anymore.

2 of my sisters also experienced the non-stop bleeding. I would stay away from that shot. Try some low hormone birth control pills. Lo-Estrin 24 worked great for me.

Congrats on your twins!

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I was on the depo shot for about 9 months. It was horrible. I gained 50 pounds in 6 months on this shot! Sex-drive pretty much died too. I just quit by getting on a different form of BC when it was time for the next shot.

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I have and all the syptoms you describe are why I got off the shot. I was on the shot two seprate time. But you know it will get better with your hair and periods but as for being moody and no sex drive it will only get worse... sorry.
It was the BC that I was on and now that my hubby is "fixed" I am so happy.
I would give it once more if you continue with the syptoms talk to your doctor.
Ther are so many other options now- the ring, patch and an IUD.
Good Luck

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I haven't used it but my best friends did they didn't have any of your problems, but what they did have is a massive weight gain, and everyone one that I've known to take it has had the same weight gain. And some have gotten pregnant while taking it. So I would most definitely talk to your doctor.

I agree with a lot of women on here. I took Depo after having my son and it was the worst time of my entire life. Extremely moody with absolutely no sex drive. I didn't know what was wrong with me. I thought it was some sort of depression or I was losing my mind because I would blow up over practically nothing knowing it was nothing but feeling unable to stop myself. Also a weight gain that I have never been able to totally lose. I weighed 118 at a doctors visit a couple months after having my son but after the third month on Depo I was 25 pounds heavier. Several months after being off the Depo my attitude started to become normal again. I have never talked to anyone that was every happy with their Depo experience and I would never suggest it to anyone.

That is very common with the depo, the physician giving it to you should have given you all the side effects prior. Some patients will have irregular bleeding the entire time, or no bleeding at all, mood swings, weight gain, and hair loss.
The only problem is...it isnt a guarantee that you will have these side effects, it varies for each individual.

Unfortunately, the shot remains in your system for a while, you get the injection every 12-15 weeks, but in some instances even if you pass on the next injection it can take up to 3 months after your last injection for symptoms to completely resolve.

Wow...I didn't know so many people had those reactions! I was on the Depo shot for about 5 years and LOVED IT!!! Maybe I was one of the lucky ones but I gained hardly any weight (maybe 10 pounds the whole time). Also, I stopped having a period altogether (great, because I was in the Army & having a period during field problems is just gross!!). No hair loss or anything like that. I would talk to your dr. about it, maybe it's just not the right BC for you. I know that for me an IUD was torture and I gained 25 pounds in a few months on the pill. I'll probably go back to the shot after this baby is born. Good luck & I hope you find one that works for you!!

yes,call about the side effects to your OB,I took Depo for 4 years,but continued to not ovulate for 7 years,bleeding lessens to non existent in less than 6 months usually,but here is a weird side effect,I got breast milk while on it,although i had never been pregnant...I personally loved the Depo because you could not forget,however not without some minor issues.

Hi R.. It sounds like my story is similair to yours and othere. I think a lot of the symptoms are a combination of just have babies and the depo shot. I got on it after my baby because I have endometriosis and the no period part would help with the pain. Well I really didn't have pain, but I bled for months after having the baby. Finially it did taper off, but it was gross and uncomforatble. I lost hair too, but I think that is a side effect of losing your pregnancy hormones. That will stop, but ask your docter to be safe. I also had no sex drive and I was very dry and it was painful. That is in part of being a new mom, but once I got off of the depo, wow!!!, sex was sooooooooooooo much better. I actaully wanted it. LOL It takes a while for it to get out of your system completly. Ask your docter though. When I changed BC, everything was so much better. If you don't breastfeed you have a lot of options. I did, so I don't know what the other ones are. I didn't cange until my son was 7 or 8 months so he was eating more baby food and I could have different BC with a little estrogen. Talk to your dcter about options. Don't worry, it will get better!!

I haven't taken the shot, but I do know that after you have a baby you lose a lot of hair. It makes up for the time during the pregnancy when you don't lose or lose very little.

My sister got the shot and gained 50 pounds in about 3 months. I'm not sure about the other side effects you mentioned. I would go with an IUD if you can. Good luck!

I took the Depo shots about 10 years ago and had problems so I stopped it (decreased sex-drive, moodiness). I think the irregular bleeding is not unusual- mine actually stopped completely after a while. As far as I know there is no way to hurry it out of your system- you just have to wait for the three months that it lasts (is it still a shot every 3 months?) I would talk to your doctor but would be leary if they suggest another birth control/hormone med. before this drug is out of your system. Just MO.

As far as losing hair like crazy- that is probably NOT the Depo at all. That is a perfectly normal PostPartum occurance! I lost HANDFULS upon handfuls every day for about 8 weeks starting when my babies were about 3 months old (after all three of my kids.)! Don't worry- you won't go bald even though it seems like it!! Normally, about 85 to 95 percent of the hair on your head is growing and the other 5 to 15 percent is in a resting stage. After the resting period, this hair falls out — often while you're brushing or shampooing it — and is replaced by new growth. An average woman sheds about 100 hairs a day.

During pregnancy, increased levels of estrogen prolong the growing stage. There are fewer hairs in the resting stage and fewer falling out each day, so you have thicker hair.

After you give birth, your estrogen levels take a tumble and a lot more hair follicles enter the resting stage. Then you have more hair coming out in the shower or on the brush. This unusual shedding will taper off and your hair will be back to its pre-pregnancy thickness about six to 12 months after you give birth.


yep, those are pretty normal symptoms, which is why so few women do the shot anymore. I had most of those myself when I was on it 10 years ago (especially the no sex drive).

I did the nuva-ring before my hubby got fixed. that was great!

HI R.,
I got was on that, and I was miserable. Yes all of those things happened to me too. Hang in there. I would let your GYN know maybe he/she can help you. I took me about a year to recover from that shot:(

Good lUck,

These symptoms thatyou are experiencing happens to be the ones the doc's don't tell you about. They will not go away. I got on the shot in 1995 and in 1997 it gave me an abnormal pap result which in turn gave me the scare of my life. I was only 16 and thought I had cancer, after going thru several procedures that turned out negative, they took me off of it and told me to go about a year and a half without any B.C. so it could totally get out of my system. They also told me that if I ever got pregnant I could try it again because my system would change. So in 1999 after my daughter was born I got on it again. Same things started happening. I quit and haven't been on it sense. I have heard no good results of that shot. Stop taking it and go for the pills.

You just had babies and that is the most likely reason of why you have no sex drive and etc. If you are still concerned, then yes I would call your OB GYN because whatever we may say in this site might not make your feeling subside. Also, I suggest you look into the mirena IUD which is what I have and it has very little side effects. Good luck with the twin boys. :)

Well congrats on the babies !
I haven't taken the Depo shot, but my niece who is 21 has been on it before. She had alot of problems and bleeding was one of them. She had to get off the Depo shot and went on the BC patch and it worked well for her, and she didn't have to
remember to take a pill everyday,she was afraid she miss one.

I had these shots after my first child was born. It took about 2-3 rounds of shots before I figured it out and then only after talking to someone else, that the depo was making me very grouchy. My poor husband could just breathe and tick me off. Once I got off the shots--life was back to normal or as much as it could be after having a baby. Definitely call your ob/gyn.
Good luck

I was on Depo for years and had no adverse effects... no weight gain, no hair loss, no break-through bleeding, no problems whatsoever. However after having a baby, I lost a ton of hair, my moods became erratic, and my sex drive was non-existant. So while it could be the Depo, it could just be your body and hormones readjusting. Only your doctor can help you sort out what's going on for your body and help you find the best BC for YOU. What works well for some simply does not work for others.

I used Depo for about 3 years. I had irregular periods, a weight gain of 90 lbs in 6 months (yes, that's not a typo! ninety pounds in six months!), and extra-uterine cysts. When I talked to a (new) OBGYN about it, he said the cysts were normal as was the weight gain with Depo. I thought this meant everything was fine, but it was not. I was a newly-wed, and my poor DH had to live with my non-existent sex drive. I was also very depressed -- as in I still don't remember a lot of that 3 years! I now call that period of my life the black hole. Also, I had 3 miscarriages, 1 requiring a D&C, once we started TTC. The Navy doctors I was going to wouldn't dare tell me that Depo was to blame, but the Army nurse practitioner did make some noises that direction with the first m/c. So, based on *my* story, I would tell you to run like crazy away from this drug while you can! You need to be on top of your game with those twins :) and your family can't afford the damage this drug can wreak on your body and mind! The longer you're on it, the longer it takes to get out of your system, according to the same Army NP that spoke to me about the shot, and it's about 10 years later, and I have 3 beautiful children, and I still have the 90 extra pounds, and then some, despite some significant effort on my part to lose them.

Hi R.. Congrats on your twins. I have B/G twins who just turned three. I've been on Depo for about 2 years and it has worked well for me. After I was on it for about 6 months my periods for the most part have disappeared which is a side-effect that I really love. I think I do remember a little irregular bleeding in the beginning but my body really started adjusting after 3 months and then after 6 it seemed like smooth sailing. The thing I have liked most about depo is not having to remember to take a pill daily. We are happy with two babies we have, and since I got pregnant with my twins while on the pill, I was looking for something that might be slightly more effective BC. I didn't experience any significant weight gain on it or really any other side effects, but I know that there can be a variety of side effects for some people. With that said, the symptoms you mention could also be signs of post-partum, your hormones adjusting post pregancy, and with you having two little ones to care for maybe even lack of sleep? Could be the depo and/or just post-pregnancy adjustment. I would call your OBGYN and talk about what you are experiencing and see what your doctors recommendation is. One of the potential side affect associate with Depo can be bone loss, so if you continue to do depo, be sure you are taking a multivitamin that includes a good calcium supplement. Best wishes to you.

All of those are normal side effects with the Depo shot. I took it and the first 3 were fine. After my 4th shot within a month I had gained 25 pounds and that's when I said no more. I know my OBGYN at the time said it sometimes takes 2-3 shots for the side effects to abate. It's up to you to decide if you want to stick it out and try it again in three months and see what happens or try another form of BC. Talk to your doc, there are a lot of new options out there. Good luck!

I gained 15 lbs within a year of being on the depo shot... because of somethin gin it -- it increases your appetite (my doctor actually said that). Got off if the shot and was fine and lsot the weight... I had changed absolutely NOTHING in my diet/activities/etc. I loved not having a period, however... But, for the weight gain alone, I chose to go off of it. I had no other side effects.

I'd say that your sex drive and such... I mean... geeze woman... you've got 3 MONTH old TWINS.... that's enough to eat it up right there... you body needs to get back to normal...


Why is my hair falling out now that I've given birth?

Expert Answers
Sandra Johnson, dermatologist
All new moms experience hair loss, though some lose more than others.

Here's why it happens. During pregnancy, changes in your hormone levels cause your hair to stay in a resting phase for longer, so you lose less hair on a daily basis. (You may have noticed that your hair seemed thicker than usual.)

After you've given birth and your hormones have settled down — usually at about 12 weeks after delivery — more hair shifts into a shedding phase. You may be alarmed to find hair coming out by the handful.

Normally, you lose about 100 to 125 hairs a day, but after delivery, you may be losing about 500 a day. This can be very disturbing, but try not to worry too much — you won't go bald!

There's little you can do about the shedding, other than to be patient. The shedding tends to be most noticeable when you're shampooing or brushing your hair, so you may find that shampooing less frequently or letting your hair dry naturally instead of brushing and blow-drying helps slow the loss.

On the other hand, it's going to fall out at some point, and you might prefer that it happen in private. Regular washing and brushing may help you avoid leaving a trail of shedding hair behind you all day. Try using a thickening shampoo if you feel your locks are getting too thin.

You may notice fine "baby" hair growing along your hairline at the top of your forehead once the shedding phase has ended. Having bangs can do a lot to camouflage this wispy new growth while it's growing out.

Within another six months or so, your hair should be back to its normal pre-pregnancy thickness, but you may find that the texture of your hair is never exactly the same. It may be wavier or straighter or more dry or oily than it was before pregnancy. This is probably due to the hormonal upheaval you've just been through.

If the hair loss doesn't seem to be slowing and you're still losing lots of hair six or so months after delivery, check in with a dermatologist or your healthcare provider. It may be a sign that you're low on iron, which is not entirely uncommon for new moms.

Not to belittle your symptoms at all, but I had all these same problems after I gave birth to both of my kids, and I have never had the shot. I would definitely call your dr and ask questions, but just from my own personal experiences, I started losing my hair about 5 months after both of my kids. I also bled (like a period) on and off for nearly 4 months after I had them, which my dr said was fine too. Maybe the sex-drive thing is from having babies? I know that changed for me, especially after my 2nd. Good luck and I hope you feel better!

I was in the same boat as you are. I took the shot after I had my son last year and stayed on it because I was breastfeeding. I lost alot of hair also, but I think that was just the usual post-partum stuff. Also, my sex drive dissapeared. It didn't really come back untill I stopped taking the shot. I bled a lot longer than normal after my son was born, but it did stop by the time he was about 4 months, then I didn't have a period at all until I got off the shot a few months ago. I talked to my Dr about that and he said it was normal for post-partum women who get the shot to spot for a while. I was also pretty irritable, but I put that off as the usual baby blues, sleep deprivation, and stress. You have TWO new babies!
I might talk to you OB, but I think this is pretty normal stuff.

go to the doc. i did not bleed at all when i was on it for 3 years. i gained weigt and could not lose it with regular exercise and diet. dont remember mood swings either. your symptoms are not normal

I used Depo several years ago and I hated it! I gained a ton of weight, had the irregular bleeding like you, and just overall didn't care feel great! As far as losing hair is concerned, that happens after you have a baby. I have 2 daughters and it happened to me both times. It only lasts a month or so. I don't think I've ever heard of it happening to someone while on Depo, but I guess it's possible! A lot of your symptoms ARE normal when you're on Depo. I would definitely call the OB/GYN, though, to help ease your mind. Unfortunately, there is no way to get it out of your system. It's in there and you'll have to let it run it's course.
I hope this helps. I wish you the best and congrats on your new babies!


You should talk to your OBGYN. These are normal side effects but there are better avenues for birth control. I took the Depo shot for a couple of years without any side effects. Then, at a check-up I got knews that I had a lump in my breast and it was being "fed" by the depo shot. The doctor had me immediately stop getting the shot and then I switched to "the ring", it's not bad and I have no side effects from it. The Depo shot can be dangerous, especially after prolonged use. I have heard a lot of horror stories. Just know that the Depo shot is not your only option.


I got the depo shot with my first child 13 yrs ago. I gained 80 lbs, was moody, lost hair, depressed, you name it. It was horrible and every time I fussed it was pushed of on post partum. Now that I have had other kids I know that was a lie. I took the 3month shot, so the last shot I took was at my child's 15 month old mark, which made me take a total of 5 shots. It took us 4 years to conceive and lots of mishaps and a miscarrage. I blame it all on that shot.

I am anti-shot if you can't tell. After having my 2nd child, I learned of all types of ttc after the shot groups on the net. (No net to learn that earlier). So obviously I wasn't the only one, though I was told countless times it wasn't the shot.

We just practiced Natural Family Planning until our 4th happy surprise a few month after having our 3rd.

Now I have the Mirena IUD... I absolutely LOVE it! Nothing to think about, no strange side effects other than not having a menstrual cycle other than light spotting. I have had it for almost 2 years now.

The only women I have come across that loved the shots were women who were close to menopause and it seemed to help with their cycles and such.

I hope you consider something other than the shot. I only took 5 and I felt like my whole body was a mess. I missed a lot of valuable time with my baby too, feeling yucky. I have had a lot of good things about the Nuvaring, but have never used it.

Good luck!

i had the depo shot for about a year after my first was born and have had it for about a year now after my 2nd was born. from talking to people, i've found that you either love it or hate it. i absolutely love it because i have no periods! talk to your dr. about the bleeding, i'm not sure about that. but i do know hair loss is common after pregnancy because during pregnancy you lose hardly any hair but after you lose those hormones when you deliver you can lose LOTS of hair! also the lack of sex drive and mood swings can be just your body re-adjusting after delivery. i've heard drs. say it takes about a year for your body to fully recover from having a baby!
PS it's normal to gain 5-10 lbs on depo but more than that is NOT a side effect of depo! and just like ANY other hormonal birth control it only works for certain people! i have a friend who went through 4 different pills before she found the right one for her!

I haven't taken time to read through the many posts, so this may have already been said...

Just having twins 3 months ago is enough to give you all of those symptoms - with or without the depo shot. I have not had the shot, but I have had 4 kids and it is very normal to lose hair at about this point. Unfortunately that will continue for a while, too. While you are pregnant your bdy releases a hormone that prohibits shedding and then when hormones begin to return to normal you lose the hair. Mood swings and irritabiity - I am sure you aren't getting the sleep you need and for the low sex drive - that is all part of it, too.
Just wanted to let you know that some of what you are feeling is just the aftermath of the wonderfule blessings you just received!
Good luck - S.

maybe this reaction is not from the shot.....I lost almost all my hair with my 4th child when she was 6 to 7 weeks old. Something to do with my harmones after giving birth. Thank goodness my hair grew back. I did see the Doctor about it...this was 35 years ago I am sure the medical field has changed and there is better medication for this problem.

Do not take another shot! That thing makes you gain weight. I know from experience and others that i have talked to . My first year i only gained about 5-10lbs. I thought it was just me OVER EATING. The 2nd year i gained an additional 20-25lbs. It is convenient but the weight gainis nit. When i was on it, i didnt have periods, only a lil spotting when it was time to update my shot. I currently use the nuva ring and i love it. Insert it and leave it in for 3 weeks. Take it out for a week so that you can have a period and then put in another one. No complaints! Good luck.

That is very strange ! I had the shot also & had no side affects like that, especially the hair losing ? I would make a Dr' appt. & get that checked/looked in to !
Good Luck ! ~

Hi, R.. I did Depo after my second baby and hated it with a passion. I spotted almost daily, had a negative sex drive, was moody. I don't know about losing hair cause I do that anyways after having a baby. Supposedly, the symptoms lessen with each shot but I couldn't stand it so I never got another one and my doctor agreed with me. I had never been on any type of BC before (and haven't since) so I figured it was my body protesting the hormones. lol I can't tell you what to do but if the side effects are too much to handle talk to your doc about alternative methods of birth control. Hope it helps.

Yes, consult with your Doctor. When I had the injections I was not experiencing any of those symptoms. Actually, my cycles were spotting everynow and then after 3 months of taking the injections and I had an increase of appetite but no mood swings or losing my hair. GET WITH YOUR DOCTOR!!!

I was on depo for a year and can say nothing but BAD things about it. I highly reccomend NOT getting another shot and getting an IUD instead.

All the symptoms you are experiencing are typical of Depo, plus it tends to cause weight gain (in my case about 20 lbs the year I was on it and about 20 more after I came off, it really screwed with my system) depression, and scarring at the injection site. (I still have a lovely scar on my hip and my last shot was January 2006)

Since I've come off of it I've had about 6 periods, nothing regular and nothing that can be charted really. Sucks. I hate depo and would never recommend it to anyone :-(

The sex drive thing is probably a combination of the Depo and the fact that you have new babies!

Good luck Mama!

I got that shot right after it came out, and had just about all of the symptoms that you are describing. I went back to my doctor, who examined me and said that I should not have the shot anymore. I went back on the pill after the shot was supposed to wear off and have not had any problems since then.

i was on the depo shot for five years!!!! the only thing that is good about the depo shot from my experience is that it is very effective. you won't get pregnant!!! i did however experience mood swings, weight gain, irregular periods and no sex drive!!! i was at one hundred and forty pounds when i started the depo shot. at the end of five yrs i weighed two hundred pounds. keep in mind that i am 5 1'. after awhile my periods had stopped completely. once i got off the shot everything went back to normal. i lost some weight and my sex drive came back. now i am pregnant!!! it took me exactly eight months to get pregnant.


I used Depo for 2 yrs. I didn't have the hair loss and the bleeding became normal after a couple months and then I didn't have a period at all. It did decrease my sex drive. That being said I think this was the worst birth control I've ever taken. I didn't realize it at the time but my body and my cycle have never been the same. I've heard similar stories from other women who say their cycles aren't normal after stopping the Depo and some continue to experience the decreased sex drive (although 3 mo. old twins will do that too =)

I have used the depo shot right away both of my pregnancies

After baby number 1 I stayed on it for more than 2 years. I then started breaking bones like crazy (hand, foot twice) within a year. I then researched and found out that the depo shot can cause bone density loss. I got off the shot to plan for baby number 2 and started feeling a lot better. I am baby on the depo shot now waiting for a cycle to start Mirena. Back to the point I have experienced everything that you have described. Some of the symptoms have come close to ruining my marriage. After discussing with my doctor I was told these were normal side effects.

Well, I never took the shot, wasn't around in my day. But some of your symptoms sound like depression. I was losing my hair, would get angry for no reason, etc. just as you say above. My doctor told me to take StressTabs twice a day and eat no processed flour or sugar for two weeks. I was a different person in two weeks. So regardless of whether it is the shot or not, you might try this. It won't hurt and it may help.

I would still contact your doctor though, there may be something else going on.

Hope you get to feeling better soon!

Did your doctor tell you that you will have mood swings? Mine told me that I would. I did,, Also it made me bleed like crazy. Never again will I ever get that. I hate it with a passion. As for the hair falling out. I myself have been expericing that also. But, you have to remeber I am on 3 types of bc. I am on Mirena, bc pills, and depo. My depo is over in dec thank goodness. I couldn't tell you what is normal cause Im just the opposite. I do everything different than anyone else or my body does. If you think that you need to call the obgyn do so. If I was you I would call just to make sure that it is normal......

Don't get another shot! I'm serious, the doctors do not give you sufficient infomation on this stuff. Sadly enough all of your side effects are "normal" on that stuff. I was on depo for over 10 years, I was actually on it before it was approved for birth control, my dr put me on it because I kept getting ovarian cysts. Anyway, I gained a lot of weight ( I say 30 pounds of it was due to the depo because once I got off of it, that was how much fell off quickly ). Just don't get anymore of it, it will get out of your system after and while and you should be fine. I had a lot of the same symptoms for years and never really put 2 and 2 together and even realized that it was the depo. Good luck, i hope you find something else that you can take. I love the Nuva-ring, I've been on it for almost 2 years.


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