Jan 3rd, 2010 - 00:09:53
Hi, I stopped taking the depo-provera injections in October. I would like to know, how can I get out of my system. I hear different things about how long it stays in the body, six month, eighteen months. I would like to speed up the process, flushing it out of my body. What would you suggest? Thanks alot.
Congratulations on discontinuing the injections of depo-provera injections. You might be doing so out of concern for the heightened risk of osteoporosis associated with its use, or because you experienced some of the many commons side effects, including bothersome or persistent bleeding, or because you want to conceive.
According to the manufacturer, the levels of medroxyprogesterone acetate concentrations, measured by an extracted radioimmunoassay procedure, increase for approximately 3 weeks following the injection, then decrease exponentially until they become undetectable (less then 100 pg/mL) between 120 to 200 days following injection.
Of course, just because the levels in your body are undetectable 4-6 months after you discontinue the injections, does not mean your body has totally recovered from the effects. This is demonstrated in the delayed return to fertility. Again according to the manufacturer, in a large US study of women who discontinued use of DEPO-PROVERA CI to become pregnant, the median time to conception for those who do conceive is 10 months following the last injection with a range of 4 to 31 months.
I understand your eagerness to rid your body of these chemicals. But once injected, there is little remedy I am aware of except patience. I do recommend learning to chart the markers of fertility produced by your body, as it will provide you great insight into the status of your fertility and your body’s progress towards resuming hormonal function. Learning to chart your cycles will also provide you with the information you need to begin to work cooperatively with your body in either avoiding or achieving a pregnancy. This will of course be a big change from the use of injectable chemicals as a tool for managing your fertility. Many women I have encountered report feeling empowered by this, in marked contrast to the “out of control” feeling you might be experiencing in your impatience in ridding your body of this chemical. While you cannot undo the injection, and events of the past, you can begin to take charge of the present, and plan for the future.
Sheila St. John, CFCP, is a Certified Fertility Care Practitioner, actively teaching in hospital, parish, and private settings in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties since the early 1980’s.
She is the Executive Director of the California Association of Natural Family Planning.
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