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On depo and trying to conceive. How to remove depo provera from the body?

Answered by
Dr. Timothy Raichle


Practicing since :1999

Answered : 1681 Questions

Posted on Mon, 17 Dec 2012 in Women's Health
Question: I have been on depo and now want to conceive. Can I take anything to help it rid itself out of my system? I have heard it can take years to conceive. My last shot was oct 1. Are there any pills to re-regulate my cycle?
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 2 hours later
Hello, I would be happy to help you with your question.

Do not despair. While depo-provera users had lower rates of conceiving during the first year after coming off of the depo shot, there rates were not zero. And you will resume cycles THIS year, but they might be more irregular. This irregularity has to do with irregularity and unpredictability in terms of when you ovulate.

Having gotten the shot on 10/1, by my calculations, it will be out of your system around 12/24, but it is likely that your cycles will resume in an irregular fashion for the first few months after that point.

In answer to your question, there is nothing you can do to get it out of your system sooner. Even the use of fertility medications would be hindered by the fact that it is continuing to work to suppress the cycling of your ovaries. Also, in response to your concerns, it will NOT take you years to conceive, it is just that the chances of conceiving in the first year after stopping the medication are reduced compared to all other couples who were not using the depo shot.

After 12/24, if your cycles are irregular, you can talk with your doctor about taking something like clomid to induce ovulation, but this also carries a risk of causing twins!

Here is what I would suggest:
1. At 10 weeks from your last depo shot, start a low-dose birth control pill.
2. Take the pill for 2-3 months which will give you a regular cycle
3. After these 2-3 months, when you stop the pill, the chance that they will resume a normal pattern is greater than just waiting for the depo shot to "wear off"

Unfortunately, you are going to have to wait to concieve. This will likely not occur until sometime after December or January.

I hope this helps. Please ask if you have additional questions!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Timothy Raichle 8 minutes later
But wouldn't birth control further the issue? Why not start clomid right away?
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 1 hour later
If you were to start clomid now, the progesterone in your system would work against the effect that it is trying to create. Your chance of forcing ovulation would be significantly reduced. In addition, clomid has a weak "anti-estrogen" effect. This causes a potential thinning of the uterine lining which is likely the same effect that depo has produced. Theoretically, the two just would not work together. The progesterone has to be out of your system for an adequate lining to be produced for healthy implantation of an embryo.

I just suggest the birth control pills because the progesterone in depo-provera is not exactly gone at 12 weeks. It actually lasts a little bit longer (and thus the initial cycle irregularity). It is just to buy time and regulate your cycles while the shot wears off.

I hope this helps! Sorry I cannot give you an answer that you would like to hear!!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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