One of the things that many women take seriously is family planning. With the continued change in lifestyle, and the rising standards of living, it has become a norm to be proactive in planning the number of children one will get and the years it will take between the children.
The attempts to either do family planning or just not get pregnant have led to women using various contraceptives. However, using these contraceptives depends on various factors, such as health conditions and the number of years one would want to stay without getting children.
Among these contraceptives is Depo-Provera, commonly known as depo. Depo is a contraceptive that is given in the form of an injection after every three months.
This contraceptive has a hormone called progestin which plays a huge role in suppressing ovulation, keeping the ovaries from releasing eggs. It also makes the cervical mucus thick to prevent the sperm from reaching the uterus.
Many people have gone for depo injections and keep on going after every three months to ensure that an unplanned conception never happens. These are some side effects of using Depo-Provera.
- It can contribute to the worsening of depression.
- The use of Depo-Provera can lead to changes in sexual interest.
- It may also lead to swelling of the ankles and feet.
- Taking depo may lead to unusual changes in vaginal bleeding.
- After an injection, one may get persistent nausea or vomiting.
- Another side effect is severe abdominal pain
- One may also experience unusual weakness or tiredness.
- One may not get their periods or get irregular periods.
- Other side effects include abdominal pain, bloating, depression, dizziness, headaches, nervousness, weakness and fatigue and weight gain.
Apart from these negative side effects, there have always been many concerns regarding the use of this particular contraceptive. One such concern is how these contraceptive methods may affect one’s ability to get children.
The plan is usually to stay on the injection until one is ready for a baby. According to medical advice, when one wants to conceive, they will stop the depo injections, and after a short while, they will conceive. Things worked according to plan for those whose conception happened successfully after they stopped taking the depo injection.
While people rarely speak about the side effects of having used this means of family planning, this does not mean that these concerns are untrue. Some women have contrary stories about how things never went according to plan once they stopped taking depo.
Bodies authorized to issue the safety of drugs to people gave a serious warning on the use of Depo-Provera, citing adverse effects on bone density that become irreversible over time. It is recommended not to be used for more than two years because it affects bone density and makes it easier to get fractures. There have also been concerns about the increased risk of getting breast cancer. These adverse effects led to the banning of this contraceptive in some countries.
A woman came out to narrate how using Depo-Provera injection affected her to the extent that she has not been able to conceive ten years down the line. Speaking on the Lyn Ngugi show, she preferred her identity to remain hidden.
A woman who used depo for family planning opened up about its effects on her fertility. She gave the details of how it started and how things have progressed. She started using depo in 2007 when she was still young. A few months later, she had not received her period, which the doctor confirmed as one of the effects. To date, she has never seen her menses.
She continued using depo until the time she got married in 2013. Almost ten years later, she has never been able to conceive. Attempts to conceive have led her to different specialists. In an attempt to seek a medical solution, the doctors gave her injections to hopefully bring her body back to normalcy. However, the attempts were not successful.
Though there has been an association of conception delay with this contraceptive, ten years is too long to be a delay. The delay is different for different women depending on their body functioning. While others may take 15 weeks before getting pregnant, other women may take up to ten months. This time of wait is before their bodies can conceive again. When one is married, it reaches a point when some couples want a baby. As this time comes, the wait can be devastating and painful. It is even more uncomfortable to wait for close to ten years because of pressure from family.
When one cannot conceive after she has stopped using Depo-Provera shots, this might result from the contraceptive usage or many factors that the doctor will then have to check to be sure. These other factors include age, hormonal problems, diminished ovarian reserve, blocked tubes, and problems in the womb-like poly fibroids or sperm issues.
This lady opening up about her experience in the Lynn Ngugi Show is not an isolated case, as more than a thousand women had given their experiences using Depo-Provera. However, most of the negative effects were concerning as they illustrated the negative health effects they developed after using the contraceptive. These effects include heavy bleeding, bone problems and even delayed fertility.
I have not had my periods for 15 years after using depo, married for 10 years.
Check out some of the things women around the world have said – “I Wouldn’t Recommend It to Anyone”: What We Can Learn from Women who have had Bad Experiences with Depo-Provera
.Here are more articles on contraceptives
Health: Things That Can Stop The Pill (Contraceptive) From Working
From Stairs To Ramps: When Will People With Disability Be Included In Conversations About Contraceptives And Family Planning?
Female Contraceptives: Are Women Aware Of All The Options?
Male Contraceptives: What Are The Available Options And What Are Their Advantages and Disadvantages?