When Will It Go Away? (Is This a Side-Effect of the Depo?)

Updated on May 02, 2011
V.W. asks from Chisago City, MN
13 answers

I have been on the Depo shot since December. It was going really well, until now. I got my period mid/late March... But I haven't stopped bleeding. There was a point where it was mostly brown discharge with a very small amount of blood mixed in, but the brown discharge was heavy enough for me to need a pad. Now it's all blood again. I had to go to the doctor for an unrelated issue last Tuesday, and mentioned it to her. She didn't really say anything about it, but put it down in her notes. I'm getting really frustrated. I want it to stop! Is this a side effect of the depo? How do I make it stop?

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So What Happened?

Ugh, that's what I was afraid of. I don't really have any other options for birth control. I forgot to take the pill (That's how I ended up with my son). The idea of an IUD freaks the hell out of me. I really don't like the idea of having a patch stuck on my body either. I can barely handle band aids for more than an hour because the feeling of it on my skin creeps me out. What else is there?

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answers from Appleton on

Sorry to break the news, but side effect of Depo. I had my period for a year! It was terrible and costly. The long-term period lasted well after I stopped Depo. Back to the pill due to those side effects.

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answers from Seattle on

Um... many women bleed the *entire* time they're on Depo. She didn't say anything because it's such a normal side effect. If you're not gaining weight like crazy (10lbs a month or so, also a very normal side effect), count yourself very lucky.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I took the Depo shot back in 1995. I bled for a whole year and then I didn't bleed for the next three years as I continued to take it. Recently I had one shot back in August. I bled about two weeks and then completely stopped.



answers from Los Angeles on

How about the Nuva-Ring? It is a flexible ring you put in your vagina once per month. Then you take it out and have a monthly period. This might work better because the likely reason you are having breakthrough bleeding is the lining of the uterus does still build up some, and then it leaks out a bit, causing the bleeding. With an actual cycle, you have your time to shed it, and the rest is just for not bleeding, if that makes sense. Sorry if this is a bit confused.



answers from Madison on

What about using a cervical cap or sponge and the condom? If you're all done having children, you could get your tubes tied or have a NovaSure Ablation done.

I can't/couldn't use birth control pills either--high blood pressure, and they (any type; didn't make a difference which ones) made me horribly, horribly sick. There aren't too many options, other than the few I mentioned above.

I used the Mirena IUD for a while; had to have that removed because the copper or something on it was screwing with my body system. I had my tubes tied about eight years ago and a NovaSure Ablation done three years ago; we have one child and didn't desire any more. Since I've had both procedures done, I've never worried about getting pregnant.

We need to have more birth control options that don't revolve around shooting synthethic medications into our bodies or swallowing pills. Everything--EVERYTHING--that has/is made out of synthetic materials/medications (this is, all pharma drugs) ALWAYS have side effects on the human body. FYI.



answers from Joplin on

Both my sister and I were on depo and both of us had different reactions to it, I went to having no cycle whatsoever and she had break through bleeding the entire time she was on it. I lasted longer than she did, she hated having to wear a panty liner every day and I cannot say that I blame her. If you read the side effects I am pretty sure it says something about it in there about being a possible side effect. I would still talk to the doctor about it, I really do not think there is any way to know for sure unless you go off depo and see if your cycle resumes in a normal manner, but be prepared it took me about 6 months before my cycle straightened out after having been on it for well over a year.


answers from New York on

I did that years ago and had to wear a pad for 6 months. It happens to a small number of women and I happen to be one of them. Never again. I went back to the pill when the 6th month was up. It started right after I got the first shot. My dr recommended that I do another one and was still bleeding. I thought it would make my life easier but just made me miserable. The only way to make it stop is to stop the depot. You have to wait until the 3 months is up and then it will go away. Sorry to tell you that but thats what you need to do. Good luck!



answers from Denver on

Umm...yes. And if you stop this do not go to Mirena - it has the same hormone with the same side effects. I had Depo in college - bleed for 3 months straight, gained 20lbs and lost huge chunks of my hair. It took almost a year for things to go back to normal after my last shot.
Flash forward 10 years - had my second baby and everyone RAVED about how great Mirena is - NO PERIODS - NO SIDE EFFECTS - BLAH BLAH BLAH. I didn't have ANY period which was nice - and also could not lose even a pound no matter what I did - and my hair started to fall out.
Get off Depo and go back to the old birth control pills - it's what I did and do not regret it at all.


answers from Sioux City on

It is a side effect of the Depo. Discontinue using it.

Are There Side Effects Associated With Depo-Provera?

Depo-Provera can cause a number of side effects, including:

Irregular menstrual periods, or no periods at all
Changes in appetite
Weight gain
Excessive growth of facial and body hair
Hair loss
Loss of bone mineral density
Most of the side effects are not common. Change in the menstrual cycle is the most common side effect. You may experience irregular bleeding or spotting. After a year of use, about 50% of women will stop getting their periods. Their periods usually return when they discontinue the shots.

Prolonged use of Depo-Provera may result in loss of significant bone mineral density, increasing the risk of osteoporosis. This risk is more likely for those who have been taking it for longer than two years, particularly when other risk factors for osteoporosis exist, such as family history and chronic alcohol and/or tobacco use. Although there are no studies to benefit its use, it is advised that all women on Depo-Provera get adequate calcium and Vitamin D (through diet and/or supplements) to help prevent osteoporosis.

Can I Become Pregnant After I Stop Using Depo-Provera?

With Depo-Provera, you could become pregnant as soon as three to four months after your last shot. However, it may take some women up to a year or two to conceive after they stop using this type of birth control. This time frame seems unrelated to how long you had been using Depo-Provera.

I would suggest Naprotechnology.


answers from Houston on

Yes, its very likely the depo. I know several people who had this side effect.


answers from Washington DC on

when I was on it (back in 2002 for 9 months total) I bled every single day through out the whole time I was on it. It was horrible!



answers from Minneapolis on

Break through bleeding is common with Depo. I am not a fan of it. I was put on it as a teenager for Ovarian cysts. I was on it for several years and gained 80 pounds.

Are you planning on having more children? If not, you might want to look into Essure. http://essure.com/


answers from Dallas on

Hi V.,
Looks like this is a common side effect that has made alot of women miserable: http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Maternal--Child/none-stop-bl...
That's one of the problems of having something injected or implanted inside your body. There is no way of controlling the amount that you are getting or having the option of stopping the usage. I sure am sorry to hear about this. From one women to another, that stinks. Hope things level out soon and maybe you can find another route of birth control.
Best Regards,

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