Is It Normal to Randomly Bleed on Depo?

Reviewed on 3/11/2021

Irregular menstrual bleeding is the most common side effect of Depo-Provera, especially in the first year of treatment. After one year of use, most women experience fewer and lighter periods, and some women stop having periods completely.
Irregular menstrual bleeding is the most common side effect of Depo-Provera, especially in the first year of treatment. After one year of use, most women experience fewer and lighter periods, and some women stop having periods completely.

Irregular menstrual bleeding is the most common side effect of Depo-Provera, especially in the first year of treatment. 

Irregular menstrual bleeding refers to:

  • Increased light spotting
  • Breakthrough bleeding
  • Longer bleeding
  • Heavier bleeding

However, after one year of use, most women experience fewer and lighter periods, and some women stop having periods completely. 

What Is Depo-Provera?

Depo-Provera, also called the Depo shot, the birth control shot, or DPMA, is a type of birth control used to prevent pregnancy in the form of an injection administered every three months.

How Does Depo-Provera Work?

Depo-Provera contains the female hormone progestin. Progestin prevents pregnancy by preventing ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary). If a woman doesn’t ovulate there’s no egg to meet the sperm and no pregnancy can happen. 

Depo-Provera also thickens cervical mucus, which helps prevent sperm from getting through. If the sperm can’t get through, it can’t reach an egg, and pregnancy cannot occur.

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Reviewed on 3/11/2021
References
https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/birth-control-shot

https://americanpregnancy.org/unplanned-pregnancy/birth-control-pills-patches-and-devices/depo-provera-5038/