Summary: Depo Provera is a hormonal birth control shot that is well known for causing breakthrough bleeding. In some cases it can be severe. It generally takes four to six months for the drug to work it’s way out of your system. The bleeding may last this entire time but the severity generally starts to diminish earlier.
Dear Curtis: I got a Depo-Provera shot about three months ago. I’m a first-time user. Everything was fine until about a month later when I began spotting. At first it was light. But now, three months out the bleeding is heavy and continuous. It’s even causing me to get thrush because the bleeding is so intense which makes it hard to stay clean. Also, I’m experiencing severe cramping and anxiety because of this. As well as it really affecting my personal relationship with my long-time boyfriend.
I realize you have already answered a question about how long it takes Depo to wear off fertility-wise. But I was wondering how long it might take for the side effects of Depo to wear off and if that timeline is any different?
Thanks for the question and I’m sorry you are having so many problems with the Depo shot. I wish I could say it’s a drug I haven’t had problems with before. But any type of hormonal birth control option – as you are keenly aware of – comes with a number of possible side effects. From weight gain to breakthrough bleeding.
Now, after what you’ve told me there are a number of factors to consider. But, at the heart of the problem is that no matter the medication each and every person responds differently. With that being said I can give you some general timelines.
How Long Depo Provera Is In Your System
Seeing as you got the shot about three months ago the drug may actually stay in your system from 120 days to 200 days out. Now, how long will your experience this breakthrough bleeding? Again, each and every patient responds differently. The most important thing for you to know is that once the drug is in your system studies have shown this is how long it may take for the blood levels to become undetectable.
Since you’re already about 90 days into treatment I would expect another month – at least – of symptoms. It may even last longer. Worst case scenario is that you have two or three months left to go.
However, I would expect the intensity of the bleeding to start going down. You will likely still have some spotting along the way.
Make Sure to Talk to Your Doctor
Also, have you discussed this issue with your doctor? I think he would likely agree that this is due to the Depo. But when you have this kind of bleeding it’s important to rule out other causes as well.
With that being said, I agree that it is very likely the Depo. In fact, it takes about 3 or 4 weeks for Depo to reach peak levels in your blood. Which, just happened to coincide with the onset of your symptoms.
As always, I hope my input was valuable to you.
As an aside, my wife suffered with issues with hormonal birth control as well. I will be addressing some of these issues and options that women do have in their place. So please check back often.