What is depo?
Depo provera, "Depo", "the jab", is an injection of a hormone (medroxyprogesterone acetate) into your muscle that stops you from getting pregnant.
The hormone is slowly released over 3 months and stops you from getting pregnant by stopping ovulation.
The "depo" is a pretty good method of birth control; it is medium-term-lasting and is easily reversible - if you decide you want a pregnancy just stop getting the jab!
The risk of pregnancy is 4 per 100 women with typical use but can be as good
as less than 1 per 100 women if used perfectly.
does this mean?
Doctors discuss the
effectiveness of contraception
by "perfect" and "typical" use.
This is because some methods are affected by human error:
The method is used perfectly
(no human error)
Accounts for human
error (e.g. late for your jab)
A pretty good method of birth control
>99% effective at preventing pregnancy with perfect use, 96% with typical use
Semi-"fit and forget" - requires regular injections with your contraception provider every 3 months
Increased appetite -> weight gain
How hard to get?
Appointment with your GP or Family Planning
Prescription cost ($5)
THAT'S $20 PER YEAR FOR BIRTH CONTROL
How does it work?
The "depo" injects a hormone into your muscle that then slowly releases the hormone throughout your body over the next 3 months.
It works by stopping you from ovulating (producing an egg).
how long does it last?
3 months (13 weeks)
10 weeks (if on anti-epileptic medications)
why would it suit me?
The depot can be particularly helpful if:
You want something long-lasting
You have heavy or painful periods
You forget to take pills/use condoms
You have epilepsy and want something long lasting
Fit and forget
Lasts 3 months
Easy to use
Hidden (no one will know unless you tell them)
May give you shorter, lighter periods
Suitable after having a baby (post-partum) and while breastfeeding
Irregular bleeding/spotting (mainly in first 6 months)
Increased appetite leading to weight gain (this is more common in women with higher BMIs to start with)
Delay in return to fertility can be up to one year
Less common: nausea, bloating, headaches, sore breasts, change in mood
You will need to book an appointment with your GP or Family Planning to ensure depot provera is the correct birth control method for you.
Once confirmed, you can proceed to have the depot injection by a trained professional.
In the future...
Luna health hope to provide a birth control service that assesses eligibility for each birth control method.
This will save you time and money
Share your experience
help others decide what is best for them
When I was aged 20-24 I had the Depo Injection. It was super easy and I didn't get my periods which was a win at the time. It took a year for my body to get back to having regular periods. Now I'm focusing on my fertility and I'm not sure suppressing my periods for an extended amount of time was the right choice.
I went on the Depo when I was around 17, and was on it for 10 years. This worked pretty well for me; my weight remained constant, my skin didn’t break out. The text reminders to book an appointment every 12 weeks worked well and I saw a doctor annually. But after several years I found myself constantly feeling down. I became a bit anxious about what it might be doing to my body or mental state of mind. I didn’t know who I was as an adult without additional hormones every few months. I decided to give my body a break from it. Hard to know if stopping the Depo made things more positive for me or it was just the course of life. Things just seemed better. My period returned to a normal cycle very quickly (less than 3 months). Within 8 months of my last injection I conceived.