Getting off Depo-Provera — How long will it take for me to get pregnant?

Hi Alice,

I have been on the Depo shot now for a year and I am supposed to have another shot September 6th, but my husband and I want to have another baby. How long should it take for me to get pregnant?

Dear Reader,

Since the Depo-Provera shot (also known simply as “the shot” or “Depo”) is given at three-month intervals, planning for the future is critical. Props to you for looking ahead! Here’s the scoop: Although it’s possible for fertility to resume three months after the last injection, it takes an average of about ten months to become pregnant after the last injection. Furthermore, over 90 percent of users are able to become pregnant within 18 months. As you and your partner embark upon your baby-making adventure, forgoing your upcoming shot is a good first step on the road towards another bundle of joy.

As you're already thinking ahead, if you’re happy with this form of contraception and you’d like to use it in the future — after the birth of your child, for instance — consider the following:

  • If you don't plan on breastfeeding, you can receive an injection within five days of giving birth.
  • If you do decide to breastfeed, it’s recommended that you wait six weeks after the birth of your child to receive another shot. There may be trace amounts of the drug found in breast milk (though no adverse effects have been found in children exposed to Depo via breastfeeding). Nevertheless, as a precaution, experts suggest waiting six weeks before resuming the contraceptive injection.

If you have other questions or concerns about birth control, getting pregnant, or reproductive health in general, it’s a good idea to speak with your health care provider. If you’re a student, you can make an appointment with your school’s health services; otherwise you may try talking through your options with a medical professional at a local health clinic. You can also read some additional related Q&As in the Go Ask Alice! Sexual and Reproductive Health archives.

Wishing you the best of luck,

Last updated May 19, 2017
Originally published Sep 08, 2000