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Avatar universal

Getting off of Depo Provera after 11 years - need advice

I have been on depo for 11 years. I would be due for my next shot on 9/27 but my Doctor has advised that I stop having it. She has been treating me for migraines and depression with Imitrex (when needed) and a daily dosage of Prozac of 10mg. The Imitrex thankfully, works, and the migraines have also been lessened by the Prozac. However, I continue to have nasty "low" days when I can barely function and have also experienced symptoms of hypoglycemia and panic attacks and or crying jags for no reason.

I have been reading a lot about the Depo side effects some women have had and they mirror mine. I've had a thyroid test and it was fine, so I don't think that I'm diabetic.

I have been trying to eat well and clense with milk thistle to try to hasten the exit of the Depo.  

At the beginning of this week,I developed a yeast infection and did the 1 day Monistat. It seemed to work after 3/4 of a day, but now the yeast infection is seeming like it's back. Ugh.

I'm wondering if there is more that I can do to get it out of me or something I should request of my Dr? I don't want to take more drugs for the panic/anxiety, but will if it's going to be a long haul to "detox" from this stuff. I'm assuming that the yeast infection may be due to the hormones trying to kick back in or the fact that I was working out in the hot sun all weekend and was definitely sweating (don't think I need to say more on that).

If anyone can shed some light, I'd appreciate it. I don't know why all of these nasty symptoms appeared over the last 2 years when I'd been on it so long.

111 Responses
Avatar universal
Go over to the maternal/child part of this forum and direct this same question to the poster "kimmy n angus".  She was on Depo and is very vocal about having side effects just like yours.  She will probably be able to help you.
Avatar universal
i was on depo 7 yrs and so many issues crop up in the last 2 that were so awful it isn't even funny. it takes 12-18 mos to get out of you and sometimes longer. i have to go to work...in 2 min...but i will come back later and post so much info you won't believe it!!! here is my web site and depo group web address. please feel free to take a look and ask me questions!!!



Avatar universal
Thank you Kimmie - I really look forward to hearing from you!
Avatar universal
the funny thing about depo is for a while most woman don't notice any side effects except no periods....who wants AF anyways unless you are TTCing. after many years on the shot i started to get psyciatric issues...severe depression, bipolar disorder and axiety disorder....i never thought it could be depo related. then i started to lose my concentration and lose intrest in school, friends, life, and everything else.i had no sex drive and was dry. i thought it was the mood issues doing it to me. i was 106 lbs after my son was born and noticed i was gaining weight. first it crept up slowly....at the end i was 178 lbs....i was heavier than i was when i deliver a 9 lb baby! i thought it was all the meds for everything else. i stopped the meds and did holistic treatments. it worked but the weight stayed. i hated everything and couldn't understand why....it was awful. a friend of mine with the same disorders decided she was goin off the depo cuz she was not having sex anyways. she lost 17 lbs in 2 months and got undiagnosed from her disorders. i was like...OMG...no depo for me anymore.

after 6 months i was undiagnosed with all my mood issues and was feeling better....and i lost 50 lbs!!!! i got my sex drive back with abundance and started to work and be interested in things again. at the 9 mo mark AF came back...with abundance as well. she came for 7 days every other week. i went thru 2 mos of that and got put on the nuva ring to stop that. at the 12 month mark i was with my fiance and we wanted to start trying to conceive, so bye-bye nuva ring. AF came back as before every other week. i went to the dr and he said that my progesterone levels were extremely low and i wasn't ovulating. i was shocked but he gave me progesterone to take to make sure i had only 1 AF per month...it worked. he also told me the depo can take up to 18 mos to leave my body and this is what caused this prob. i reseached the effects woman have experienced on depo. the issues other than fertility were experienced by many woman ....some even after only one shot. the longer you are on it the stronger the effects get over time. i was put on clomid to jump start my overies....it helped. i had a stange cycle and found out i m/c that month. depo has a high risk of m/c if you conceive shortly after stopping the shot....it makes you progesterone deprived and progesterone is neccessary for carrying a PG. i decided that all i could do was wait and let me body heal. at the 18 month mark i ovulated on my own for the first time and conceived and had another m/c. my dr has now put me on progesterone from ovulation to 12 weeks PG or AF comes to stop the m/c's. this has been a horrifying experience in its intiraty. i would not wish for my worst enemy to go through what i have. i am extremely sorry you had to go through this. there is nothing they can do to reverse depo....you have to wait for it to leave you. once you get your AF back, if it is irregular, they can treat you for that....DON'T LET THEM GIVE YOU MORE BC. tell them you want progesterone to help regulate AF. i found a good detox tea works wonders. eat healthy stay fit and excersize. depo is stored in fat and thats why it stays as long as it does....all the weight gain from depo has depo in it!!! do your best to lose any weight gained on it and drink lots of water. feel free to e-mail me and i can answer any questions you might have.

love and hugs....kimmie

Avatar universal
hi, my name is Laura. I started the Depo shots in April of 05, and i had the worst experience. Other than kidney stones. My last shot was around May or June of 06. my last period was right before i started the shots. Within the first week of the first shot, I had such bad mood swings. I would cry, uncontrollably over nothing, all the time. My eating was all out of whack, there were days I couldn't stop eating and then days that I couldn't eat at all. As I continued with the shots every 3 months, I gained about 80 pounds. After taking pictures with some friends and (self-proclaimed,) step kids, I looked at the pictures and was so upset that I ended up having a total physical and emotional break down. (Right in the middle of Beale Street in Memphis TN!)
               Being on the shots, i had a lot of problems, horrible acne, weak immune system, loss of "lubrication," no sex drive what-so-ever. The list goes on and on. The last time i had sex was August 29, 2006. July 22nd, 2007 was the first time I'd had sex since. After not having any kind of menstrual cycle, my mom, (an LPN) reminded me that even though I was not on any kind of birth control, I could still get pregnant. Even thought i wasn't having periods. so we ended up having a pregnancy scare. after Dr's and home tests, i wasn't. now its September 27th 2007. its like 1:03AM and for about the past month, my boyfriend and i have been thinking that there was a great possibility of me being pregnant. again, after Dr's and nurses telling me that the only way they can tell for sure is if i go get a blood test done, everyone we talked to told us that everything we were describing to them said that i was a good 85-90% pregnant. we went to my Dr and he said that since we had HAD SEX in the last 8 days that the EPT wouldn't give for sure results, so we didn't have sex for 8 grueling days, and went back for a blood test cause i told him i didn't want another EPT. another heart-stopping 3days. i get a call at 9:27 in the morning. (This was about a week to a week and a half ago.) The past month and a half my stomach has gotten bigger, i cant lay on my stomach or my sides, my feet are swollen, and my nipples hurt so bad that i have to walk around my house topless, both my entire breasts are killing me and they are very firm. At about 12:25-12:30AM, (like 30-40mins ago) i went to the bathroom and when i wiped i saw blood. not pure blood, and not menstrual blood, but a almost pinkish color, with a very STRONG and bad odor. we don't know whats going on. and my boyfriend and best friend that i live with are starting to get even more stressed out with me cause i am constantly stressed out cause i don't know whats going on and i would really like some help. any kind of advise would be greatly appreciated right now. anyone at all. please and thank you thank you thank you!

Confused and in major breast pain!
Laura Elizabeth.
Avatar universal
I too had taken Depo, since 1999, started at age 14. Slowly, I started falling apart. Depression, anxiety, profuse sweating, diagnosed with POTS ( a heart condition that causes you to pass out without warning), heart palpitations, racing heart, & fatigue, just to scratch the surface! Finally, after about 2 years of right side pain (which I though was due to my history of excessive kidney stones) I decided to stop getting my shot just to "see" what would happen. After only 5  months, I am a whole NEW person. My heart condition...vanished, depression & anxiety...tons better, sweating like a grown man.... dried up, and my non-stop flank pain....GONE! Like the previous post, I had no idea all of these things were related. After being on a drug for so long and becoming acustomed to these changes in your body, its hard to relate the two. But, it definatly was the cause. I believe that with my whole heart! Its not worth it!

Also, since comming off, my breast have grown, almost instantly! However the shot never caused me to gain weight I have always been between 100 to 115. But, the breast issue, I think Depo too was involved in this. Since I started taking it at age 14, I dont belive I was completely finished with puberty! Does that make since to anyone else. I started out as an A and within 2 months turned into a large B almost C!

Please if you are reading this post and are considering Depo, steer clear, its not worth it in the long run. In my state, GA, the gov. dosent allow it for over 2 years now! (Does me alot of good after 10 years) But, at least I can warn others!
Avatar universal
After reading some of the posts I feel better.  I went on depo back in 97 and decided to get off of it June of 2007.  Reason being, I started to notice my anxiety levels were high, one minute I was fun and the next depressed and miserable.  I would get upset and mad easily...nothing I did seemed to make me feel like I use to when I was younger.  I felt like I was going crazy.  Within the 10 year time frame I was on Prozac for a year or two because I felt depressed, lost... crazy.  So last year I went off depo.  Within 3 months I my mental state of mind was a whole lot better.  My anxiety was minimal, my rapid heart racing (I haven't had that feeling in almost a year), and I'm able to control my moods better.  Don't get me wrong my body is still up and down, which is starting to effect my personal life.  I finally got a period ( A VERY LIGHT) in Jan 08 for about a week.  Then in Feb I got another one and it didn't stop for 31 days (between light and med).  So I called my gyno and she put me on provera for 10 days, stopped the bleeding for about 5 and then one day I had the heaviest period EVER for like 2 hours and then nothing for another week.  That was at the end of March, now 3 weeks ago I got it again and it hasn't stopped.  I'm starting to worry and get frustrated because I'm afraid it will never regualte and I won't be able to conceive children.  Also, the money I am spending on sanitary napkins is upsetting me too.
I do have to say, I never gained weight from depo, if anything I lost weight.  Now that I'm off it my breast have gotten bigger and MORE tendor.  When I was on depo I was a 34 B still, but my breast were very squishy (spelling) now they are the same size but firm and perky.(all the time)  I read in another post that it stays in our system because of fat cells.  I am very active and I try to get to the gym 2 to 3 times a week and I play sports on the side.  I don't eat unhealthy and I drink TONS of water daily.  I know there isn't any instant remidy for this, but I basically want the bleeding to stop.  Is there anything that can be done?  or do I just have to wade it out?

498869 tn?1209936126
I am also a 10 year Depo user and I am still on it, just got a shot last week of April 08.  My husband and I are planning to start conceiving the end of this year and this is really the first time I have gone searching to see when I should start to go off it.  I know I have always heard that it takes a year but after my sister in law got pregnant with my nephew in between shots, I thought that it was probably not going to take a full year.  I am just floored with all the comments I am reading.  I too have experienced depression but it was very short lived.  I only had it for a few months and never went on any medication.  I remember thinking to myself during that time that I had NO reason to be so sad and I couldnt figure it out but now after reading all the posts I am starting to believe it was definitely the depo.  I am fortunate that I never had to go on anti-depressants.  I also had the heart palapations and heart flutters.  But at the time I was working with a very stressful person at work in a very stressful environment.  I saw a cardiologist, wore a heart holter monitor for a month but once that manager left and once I removed Caffeine from my diet those heart issues went away.  So, I dont know if I can blame the Depo.  As far as weight gain, I was 115 when i started Depo and I got up to 150.  I did however eat horribly and stopped working out like I used to.  In the past year I joined weight watchers and have lost 10 lbs.  So I am not sure if the depo was responsible for that either.  I just realized that not pigging out and monitoring my portions has helped with the weight loss.  I can not comment on the bleeding that J is having or the breast tenderness of the other 10 yr user because i am still on it.  But i am sure when i do go off it (this year) i may be back!!  I am taking astaxanthin for my allergies but i know that it also helps with inflamation...maybe it would help 10 yr user girl's sore breasts?! It is actually an all natural micro algae grown in hawaii and I get it from this site www.bioastinman.com it is very affordable.  There is a free ebook on the site, maybe you should check it out?!  I am hoping that J's bleeding becomes normal and pray that I she feels and gets better.


Avatar universal
I've been on depo for the past three years just about, but decided to get off of it and to just go on the pill.  I just wanted my body to get back into the cycle of things... plus I started getting really bad symptoms whenever it was just about time to get another shot.  My worry is, is  now that its not being replenished in my body- and the withdrawls are starting, how long before I can expect this awful feeling of nausea and fatigue to go away?  I even feel like my heart flutters sometimes and I get out of breath for no reason... I can't help but be paranoid.  I just don't like the depressed mood swings and the physical ailments and would like some help on the subject.  Any advice would be great!

Avatar universal
I just stopped depo after 11 years and now I am falling apart.  Not sure if it is related but I have constant nausea, acne, depression, I was put on the yasmin to put my body back to normal. I feel this is a never ending battle with my emotions.  I have been a strong woman over the last 11 years dealing with divorce, death and life now I just feel overwhelmed. I hope and pray that once the depo gets out of my system I will be normal again.  Whatever normal may be, it definately has to be better than now.
498869 tn?1209936126
I am back!  I posted just in May about wanting or planning to get off Depo.  I finally did get off of it the end of July.  So, I have been off of it for two months.  I am not having the nausea or fatigue that you are having.  How long have you been off it?  I also would like to start taking the pill but my gyno said that i need to have a cycle before I can go on another birth control.  So I can't answer to your yucky feelings.  I think that we all experience something a little different.  I dont know what withdrawals i am going through other than TOTALLY understanding Laura Elizabeths posting about breast tenderness. HOLY MOLY!!!  My boobs have definitely grown.  At first... my husband thought i may have been pregnant cause they were obviously larger but i took a pregnancy test and it was negative.  Now they are just super tender, sore, and bigger.  They are very painful.  My husband is loving it but its not so fun having them so painful.  I really want to know how long i have to wait to have a cycle.  I read that one girl didnt have one for four months! wow.....i thought that maybe since my boobs were sore that i was going to start but hmmmmmmm havent started?! Can anyone give input on when they had a cycle after getting off depo?  or when the boobie soreness goes away??  :0(
Avatar universal
I was on depo for almost 7 years and decided to get off it when a Physicians Assistant informed me that one should not be on it for more than a few years.  My period was irregular before I was on depo..and I wasn't sure when to start The Pill.  My Doctor told me to start on the Sunday following my period.  But given my history of irregular cycles,  she recommended that I start the pill on ANY Sunday.  Has anyone else been told this?

Fortunately, I have yet to experience any side effects. I did have heat flashes.  I joked w/friends that it was early menopause.  I'm only 36 so am beginning to  think that it may have been the depo.  I was also 125 before the depo and am now  155.  

I'm concerned in reading  everyone else's posts about the bleeding..and am hoping that the pill will help regulate that.  Does  anyone have any feedback on this matter?
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