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THE SHOT (depo-provera)

Abortion Clinic RU486 What is "the shot"?
Abortion Clinic RU486 How does the Shot work?
Abortion Clinic RU486 How effective is the Shot?
Abortion Clinic RU486 Am I a good candidate for the Shot?
Abortion Clinic RU486 Are there any reasons why I shouldn't use the Shot?
Abortion Clinic RU486 What are the common side effects of the Shot?
Abortion Clinic RU486 What are the benefits of the Shot? 
Abortion Clinic RU486 When can I start taking the Shot?
Abortion Clinic RU486 What If I am late for my next Shot?
Abortion Clinic RU486 Are there any warning signs I should look out for once I start the Shot?
What are the common side effects of the Shot?
Abortion Clinic RU486 irregular bleeding
Almost all women who use Depo-Provera will experience changes in their period, including irregular or unpredictable bleeding or spotting, and occasionally heavy or continuous bleeding.  This tends to subside the longer you use this method. After a year of use, one-half of women will stop having a period altogether.  This is an expected side effect from the shot and is NOT a medical problem.  The constant release of hormone in your body from the injection prevents the lining of the uterus from building up; therefore, there is nothing to bleed off each month.  If the irregular bleeding is interfering with your lifestyle, talk to your health care provider.  This condition can be treated by either taking a short course of estrogen (i.e. taking the birth control pill) or medications such as Motrin or Advil to regulate your cycle for a few months until the irregular bleeding resolves.
Abortion Clinic RU486 weight gain
Depo-Provera has been shown to be associated with weight gain.  As much as 3 to 5 lbs. in the first year of use.  This is most likely due to increased appetite from the progestin.  If you watch what you eat and exercise regularly you can offset this weight gain.
Abortion Clinic RU486 delay  in the return  of your period
Although the shot does NOT cause infertility, it may take 12 to18 months from your last injection for your normal menstrual function to return (the average is 10 months).  Thus, if you are considering pregnancy in the near future you may want to consider an alternative method of birth control.
Abortion Clinic RU486 no immediate discontinuation
Unlike, the pill or mini pill, the hormone given as an injection can take several months to clear from your body.  Thus, you may be "stuck" with some of the other side effects such as irregular bleeding, weight gain, etc. for several months.
Abortion Clinic RU486 reversible loss of bone mass
Women who use Depo-Provera for a long period of time may have lower density than non-users.  This will reverse after stopping the Depo-Provera and has not been shown to cause osteoporosis or associated fractures.  Women over 40 who continue this method for greater than 2 years would benefit from having their bone density checked.
Abortion Clinic RU486 mood changes
  Some women experience mood changes on the shot-depression, irritability, and change in sex drive.  These are infrequent side effects
What are the benefits of the Shot?
Abortion Clinic RU486 easy to use--all you have to remember is to go to your health care provider for a shot 4 times a year 
Abortion Clinic RU486 extremely reliable-this form of birth control has one of the lowest failure rates 
Abortion Clinic RU486 confidential--no one other than your health care provider needs to know you are using it
Abortion Clinic RU486 decreases menstrual cramps and blood loss--after 1 year of use 50% of women will no longer get their period 
Abortion Clinic RU486 reversible--although expect a delay in the return of your period of 10 months on average
When can I start taking the Shot?

We will only give you the Depo-Provera within 5 days of the start of your menstrual period.  This ensures that you are NOT pregnant when you receive the shot and it will be effective immediately.  Before you get each shot, we will check that you have a negative urine pregnancy test. 

Another time to start this method is after the end of a pregnancy; either at the time of termination of pregnancy or within 5 days postpartum if NOT breastfeeding.  If you plan to breastfeed, Depo-Provera is a safe method of birth control, but we recommend waiting until 6 weeks postpartum when the milk supply is fully established.  If you initiate Depo-Provera after the birth of a child, keep in mind the delay in return of your menstrual cycle. If you are planning to have another baby within the next year or so, you may want to select a different form of birth control.

What If I am late for my next Shot?
If you are late for your Depo-Provera, we want to make sure that you are NOT pregnant.  However, now we need to do a blood pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant.  This is much more sensitive test than a urine test.  The blood test usually takes one day for results.  If negative, you could return the next day for your injection but you should use condoms as a backup method for the next two weeks.
Are there some warning signs I should look out for once I start the Shot?

Call your doctor if you have any of the following problems:

Abortion Clinic RU486 repeated, very painful headaches
Abortion Clinic RU486 heavy bleeding (soaking more than one menstrual pad per hour)
Abortion Clinic RU486 depression
Abortion Clinic RU486 pus, prolonged pain, or bleeding at injection site
Abortion Clinic RU486 severe lower abdominal pain
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