I was on Depo for birth control for almost 5 years. This post will be centered around that choice.
I want to try to make this post as positive as I can. I have a lot of icky feelings (frustration, annoyance, "WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING?!!", and occasional anger) that arise when I think back on my birth control choice I made in the past, and I want this post to be informative for my readers more than anything. So to start off, here's the basics:
Great Things About Depo While I Was On It:
1) I did not get a period for almost five years (that was wonderful, not gonna lie).
2) During the past five years, I did not get pregnant.
3) It was easy- a shot every three months in my lower belly.
Horrible Things About Depo Now That I Am Off Of It:
1) My periods are alllll over the place. For months now, I have no predictability. My cycles range from 10 days to 28 days, and absolutely everywhere in between.
2) I cannot get pregnant.
3) My hormones are seriously screwed up.
Now for the back story...
For five years, I was on Depo-Provera for birth control. I would get a shot once every three months in my lower belly and that was it...no need to worry about pregnancy or even a period for that matter! I wanted something easy that I did not need to worry about, and Depo fit my needs well at the time well. I started the shot when I was in my late teens- I was self-centered, not thinking long term, absolutely adored the idea of not having a period, and I wanted something that was convenient. Was I thinking that when I wanted children someday that the Depo shot might postpone that from happening? Of course not! I had researched side effects to the shot and I knew that it could take one year for it to be completely out of my system when the time came to have children. One year- no big deal, right?!
Well year after year, I kept getting the Depo shot as I loved it. As much as I do hate it now, at the time I loved it and it was perfect for me when I needed it. I did not have a single side effect from the shot (no weight gain, no signs of bone loss... absolutely nothing) and so I figured I might as well continue on. Well, flash forward a few years, and I had been on it for almost 5 years straight. When my DH and I really decided to try for a baby, I had a plan to immediately get off of Depo, as I knew that that could be an obstacle. My last shot was in June 2010, meaning it would stay heavily in my system for 3 months. Three months later in September of 2010, I was Depo free and switched over to the birth control pill for three months as recommended by my OB/GYN. She said that since I had not had a period in a loooong time, it was a good idea to be on the birth control pill for three months as it might trigger my body to start having periods again- something crucial when TTC.
Weird as it sounds, while on the birth control pill for those three months, I loved getting my period. I know it is not a "real" period, but having to even use panty liners and tampons was exciting as I felt that my body was doing what it was supposed to do and getting me one step closer to conceiving. (Something I have learned while TTC for the past 10 months is that even little gains such as getting a period after not having one for 5 years is incredibly exciting! For those of you who have not struggled TTC, you probably think I am crazy!)
So for all of September, October, and Novemeber, I took the a little white pill each night before I went to bed, and after taking them for 21 days straight, I would get a period- it was predictable and I was hopeful.
Right around Thanksgiving of 2010, I was done taking birth control pills and off of all contraceptives completely. I count this as our starting point of TTC. The following posts will go into more detail of what has happened since November 2010.