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Injectable Contraception

If you intend to get your Depo-Provera® shots at M.S. Shook Student Health Service, please review the Student Information Sheet prior to your first visit.



  • Toll free patient information line: 1-866-554-DEPO (3376)
    • Available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week

NOTE: Depo-Provera® should not be given if there is a possibility of pregnancy. The first injection should be given within five days after the start of your period.


  • Does not contain estrogen which is in most oral contraceptives
  • Gives protection to prevent pregnancy for three months
  • You do not have to remember to take a pill every day
  • Can be used by nursing mothers
  • No packets to keep track of and it cannot be seen or felt

Side Effects

You may have:

  • Irregular menstrual bleeding
  • Amenorrhea
  • Weight gain
  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Stomach Pain or cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Decreased sex drive


  • Loss of calcium from your bones
  • Possible slight increase in chance of breast cancer
  • The medication cannot be reversed, but the effects will wear off over several months

If you are taking Depo-Provera® shots and have any of the following symptoms, contact your health care provider or come to M.S. Shook Student Health Service:

  • Unusually heavy bleeding
  • Persistent pain, drainage or bleeding at the injection site
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Severe headaches
  • Eye problems such as blurred vision or loss of vision
  • Severe leg pain

Certain medical conditions may make Depo-Provera® use unwise. These conditions include:

  • You think that you may be pregnant
  • You have vaginal bleeding without a known cause
  • You have or have had blood clots in legs, lungs, eyes, etc.
  • You have problems with your liver or have liver disease
  • You have an allergy to Depo-Provera®
  • You have had breast cancer
  • You have had a stroke

Your health care provider should know if you have any of the following:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Epilepsy
  • Migraine headaches
  • Kidney disease
  • Asthma
  • Abnormal mammogram or breast disease
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Irregular or scanty menstrual periods
  • Any medication you are taking

Stopping Depo-Provera®

If you wish to stop using Depo-Provera®, simply do not get your next injection. After stopping Depo-Provera® most women who wish to become pregnant will do so in 12-18 months. If you don't want to get pregnant, see your health care provider or one of the clinicians at M.S. Shook Student Health Service to choose a different birth control method.

Page content reviewed: 6/04/18 fwg