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Depo shot

Is anyone on Depo Provera? If so, how long have you been on it and have you had any side effects? I thought I read somewhere that it was not safe to stay on it long...is that true?

Fri. Apr 21, 7:04pm

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The FDA has issued a warning that long-term use of Depo Provera may result in loss of bone density (unknown if and/or how much of this is reversbile) and Pfizer has added a recommendation to their web site that recommends women use depo for less than 2 years unless other forms of birth control are inadequate.

Aside from that I used Depo for 8 years (if I had known about the bone density findings it would have been less). And of course there were side effects. However the ones I experienced may not be the ones you or others experience. According to my gyno though. weight gain is the most common one. I definitely gained weight, and almost everyone I've spoken to who has used depo has reported weight gain and/or greater difficulty in losing weight. There were definitely others including; depression (mild), loss of libido, vaginal driness, and no periods (rawked!).

Since I had a raging libido, was underweight and very moody when I started depo - most of the side effects were a relief at first. However as I got older they were less appreciated ;-) Since getting off depo (and that takes awhile which is something to consider), I have noticed that losing weight seems easier, my sex drive has definitely returned and so has my ability to 'self-lubrcate'. I really can't tell if my depression has lifted because I found a great relationship and started a whole new, rewarding career, or if the depo really was a contributor.

So maybe a little TMI, but that's been my experience. I really, really don't want osteoperosis though, and thanks to the extended time I was on depo I am aware that my risk is much greater now than it would have been. Thus I am religious about getting all my calcium and incorporating weight-bearing exercise into my routine.

Friday, April 21, 2006, 8:05 PM

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^^^ link to a release containing info on the FDA warning and Pfizer's position



Link

Friday, April 21, 2006, 8:09 PM

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I've been on Depo for about 3 years now. The best side effect for me is no period. I used to have horrible cramps and headaches every month, and the Depo ended that. The bad side effect for me has definitely been weight gain. Some of the weight I have gained is my own fault, but some of it was due to the Depo. There was also about 6 months when I first started it where I had a lot of spotting. That was annoying, but way worth noth having a period for the last 2 1/2 years.

My gyno told me this year that I should really start considering switching to another form of BC because being on it for too long can affect bone density. She said I shouldn't be too alarmed, but that I should probably switch within a year or so. I've been putting it off though because I love not having a period.

I would definitely suggest reading up on it before you start it. I read a lot on it before I started it, and different people seem to have vastly different experiences with it. Once you get the shot you're stuck with the effects of it for a minimum of 3 months, so that's something to keep in mind. Also, my friend told me that once she got off it after being on it for several years it took her about a year to get back to a "normal" period.

Personally, I've liked it, but I think everyone's experience varies.

Friday, April 21, 2006, 9:35 PM

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I haven't personally been on Depo-Provera, but I am using Mirena. Mirena is an IUD, which means they "stick it up there...WAY up there". It hurt pretty bad for the first day or so, and then my body just got used to it. There's no major cramps, I haven't had my period in over a year, and there's no huge side effects. It's been great, and I don't have to think about it until 2009! So if you're looking for an alternative because of the convenience of not having a monthly period, you really should look into it. My nurse practitioner made sure I was in a monogamous relationship though, since there's an increased risk of STD infection. Anyways, there's a ton of BC options out there, and everyone should find one that's right for them!

Saturday, April 22, 2006, 3:52 AM

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One more thing... I have gained a little bit of weight since switching to an IUD, and found that it's a little more stubborn to get rid of, but they may be more because I'm not playing water polo for my college anymore :)

Saturday, April 22, 2006, 3:53 AM

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