Just stop reading now if you're squeamish whatsoever!
So, I have heard rave reviews about using Depo for years, so I finally decided in October to give it a whirl. The thought of having no monthly period to deal with sounded awesome to me! I got the shot and all was well - I did feel a little more lethargic than usual. However, I then started experiencing massive mood swings, and while I had no period, I bled during and after canoeing...which, I rather just have a monthly period! Anyway, when it came time for my next shot, I opted to go off of it, and just stay off of BC for a bit so my body could just chill out. It's been through a lot hormonally these past six months besides the Depo. Well, it's been four weeks now, and I just got my first period after Depo. Um, can I crawl into a hole and die somewhere? The cramping is the worst I have EVER experienced, and there is very heavy bleeding. Usually, I experience fairly heavy bleeding the first day. This has continued overnight, and into the second day. In addition, there are a lot of LARGE clots, which is not normal for me.
Anyone else here ever gone off depo and experienced this?
I have not. I've been on the same BC pill for 7 years now, a generic form of Ortho tri-cyclen lo. I had a decent amount of friends who had negative things to say about the Depo shot so I steered away. Mostly about mood swings and how they felt overall. Don't hesitate to call your doctor. It make work itself out, and the first one could just be really heavy and maybe there is a lot of uterine lining to shed? I can't say there is much validity to my theory as I am not a doctor.
For the record, I have *never* heard rave reviews about Depo. I've never even heard a remotely favorable review of Depo.
Based on what you're experiencing, I'd be inclined to think that Depo is not the BC for you. Talk to your GYN about the issues you've been having since going on it; and what he/she thinks would be the best course of action moving forward.
I'm on Yaz, which I take in continuous 3-month increments; so I only have a period 4x/year. I've never had the slightest bit of trouble with it- keeps my skin clear, controls my heavy bleeding/cramping from endometriosis, reduces the severity of my PMDD symptoms; and actually helps to balance my mood throughout the month (I have bipolar disorder, and every other birth control I've ever been on - whether it was a monophasic or triphasic - gave me UNBELIEVABLE mood swings and triggered/worsened my depression).
My GYN actually told me at my last appointment that I could start taking the Yaz truly continuously - meaning all year 'round... which means no periods, ever. Yay!
Of course, YMMV - as it may for absolutely anybody, as we and our respective bodies are all so very different; but based on my own experiences (and those of my friends), I'd run like hell, and as far away as possible, from Depo. There are lots of other options out there
Originally Posted by Martha Drum
...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.
I've been on depo for 3 years now I think? Haven't gone off it and really don't want to, but I'm toying with the idea of being off bc/hormones for a time because I've just been on stuff for so many years... I have my annual appointment coming up and will talk about options then. I really DON'T want to stop depo, but i do also wonder about the bone density concerns.
I love the depo shot! I had heavy periods at first but within the end of the year it was a light one two months into the shot, and an even lighter one the week I was due for another. About halfway into this last year I had my last period.... I actually don't remember when that was. I was worried at first because I'd read that some women's periods get worse, while some other's go away completely.
I'm sorry it didn't work out for you!
MrB's attempt at talking like a horse person, "We'll be entering in the amateur hunter-gatherer division...."
I had to go on something or have a hysterectomy if I wanted to work full time - I just could not function anymore 4-5 days every 4 weeks, and employers got tired of my regular sick days (couldn't blame them).
BC pills were not a good option for me as I have high blood pressure. So it was surgery or Depo for me, so far Depo is making my life much easier.
I never suffered any side effects on it that I can tell so far. Have very rare, very light periods.
My only concern, I've read that Depo increases chance of breast cancer, and sucks the calcium out of your bones. I'm a low risk for breast cancer (without Depo), so not as worried about that as I am weak bones. I'm planning to have my dr. try to convince insurance I need a bone scan next year (even tho I'm not old enough to need it supposedly), just to see what the bones look like. If osteoporosis is happening, I may choose to stop Depo & have surgery instead. No rider needs weakened bones!!
I actually "like" giving myself the shot every 3 months! I know, it's weird! I'm not sure why... Not that I'm into pain, but I guess I'm proud I'm brave enough to do it? Or that I know it is protecting me from the nightmare of cramps for 3 more months.
OP make sure you talk to dr about all options, and maybe try something else. And keep asking through your fertile life, as more options seem to come available over time (and bad news about old options to stay on top of!)
Sometimes, taking Aleve or Motrin will stop the cramping and decrease the flow from a heavy period. Talk with your doctor as if the flow is really heavy, she may want you to take some birth control pills or provera to stop the period.
Most women have irregular periods for a while with Depo, and then no periods.
I have been on the depo for 7 years, I have not had a cycle in years, maybe an occasional spotting but that is it, didn't even get weight gain till I got on my generic paxil plus a desk job, now trying to loose it is a bitch
love it and I hate needles, like hate, depo day is my worthless crawl into bed and sulk day but it is worth it for me
now I do have a friend that was on it then got off of it due to violent mood swings and she had very bad cramps getting off of it, but for me it works
Arcadian, not to hijack but are you allowed to give yourself the shot? I thought i'd be able to but my dr office is really weird about it now. I used to have a full yrs rx and just pick it up at the pharmacy and take it to my dr office (little too wigged out to give it to myself), but this year they changed it and only give a month at a time, so i call them, they call it into the pharmacy, i pick it up on my way to the office. They're also strict about getting it done on time. It's good for 14 weeks, but you have to get it done within the end of week twelve. If you miss week twelve you have to come in for a preg test, promise to abstain for a week then return again for another preg test and the shot then if you pass that one too..... it sounds insane, and i don't know if its a money ploy, or a potential for serious birth defects, or what. I think if I missed the deadline id head to the health department (where I'm tempted to go anyway, but it's pretty cheap with my insurance as it is) or something else.
I do have a friend who got pregnant while on it, but know many more who haven't :-) Her son was totally fine, btw.
Just curious about how strict or lenient your office is (and others' docs as well!)
MrB's attempt at talking like a horse person, "We'll be entering in the amateur hunter-gatherer division...."
@bits619, I have to admit I originally told them my mom (a retired RN) was going to give it to me, when they asked if I needed to bring it in years ago. Since then, no one has asked!
I imagine it must vary by doctor? It can't be a legal thing, else how could the pharmicist hand it over the counter to us... Maybe your dr has had people mess up the schedule & complain to them, or they fear ectopic pregnancy & a lawsuit...
Agree the schedule is critical, my neice was given the shot mid cycle, instead of the 5 days after last period recommendation, and had a real mess starting out (finally settled down for her).
Maybe check with another dr, to see if they'd trust you on your own. I'd still do it if I had to go on, but it does save the hassle of setting up an appointment. I'd miss my "Depo nite" routine - 2 beers, one shot glass, then the ceremonial jab!
I've been on it for years and years. Did take a break of maybe 2 years there after some heavy pressure from friends... and that was a mistake. I know I am a woman, I do not have to bleed monthly to verify it.
I have never had any side effects, sometimes very mild spotting towards the end of the three months but that is rare. When I took a break, my cycle started up again just fine and was very normal.
As with all BC, some will work for your chemistry and some will not. I hate to recommend depo to people who have had major problems with other forms of BC because if it does not work for you, you are stuck with it for a while... but for me, it is the perfect solution.
Yeah, all my friends that are on it have nothing but wonderful things to say about it! Unfortunately, it was obvious that it wasn't for me. It sucks, since I've never had issues with any BC before this. It was just so appealing to me since it takes minimal brain power to remember on my part, as well as the no period thing. Of course, there are other options for that, which I shall be exploring at my next appointment.
Count me as another one who LOVES Depo. I am on it just to control my cycle (without birth control, I was throwing up and passing out from the severity of cramping I had, and I was HORRIBLE about remembering pills, allergic to the patch). I am bad about actually getting the shot on time (no biggie because I'm not using it to prevent pregnancy at this point in my life...) I tend to just let it run it's course, and go get my next shot after I get my first period which is generally quite mild. I had breakthrough bleeding (barely) on one round. This coincided with the time I got the shot in the middle of a period. Not sure if that's any relation....
For me, it's a lifesaver.
I was on it 16/17 years ago so maybe things have changed but I was miserable, carsick all the time, grouchy, depressed, just a mess. Transitioned off of depo onto the pill and got absolutely PSYCHO. Went off, got pregnant and calmed the heck down... never went on hormone BC again. Ever.
I was on it for 4 years. I was extremely moody for a couple days after getting the shot. It was to the point I was practically in tears over nothing. My body was going through the motions of what being sad feels like yet I was not sad about anything. It was really bizarre because I was totally aware that I was not sad at all while at the same time about to start crying.
I gained a lot of weight, had horrible acne and no sex drive at all. When I first started taking it, it was actually cheaper than regular birth control but the price seemed to go up every time I got another shot. It was finally too expensive (didn't have insurance at the time) and I switched to the pill. I had the worst cramps of my entire life x1000 when I had my first period in 4 years. I know exactly what you're talking about.