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How soon is Depo-Provera effective? #859/6
How, or can, a person tell when hormonal contraceptives, like Depo-Provera has become fully effective?

A woman is protected immediately if she receives her first shot during the first 5 days of her period, if she is switching from an IUD to Depo or from pills, patches or rings to Depo, or if she is in the first 3 weeks postpartum.  Otherwise, use abstinence or a back-up method for 1 week.


            Here is a rule.  If in doubt, use a back-up contraceptive, using two contraceptives (usually condoms are the back-up method), never hurts.  Since no contraceptive is 100% effective, use a back-up when in doubt.


Key Words:  hormonal contraceptive, Depo-Provera, fully effective, back-up contraceptive, condoms

Robert A. Hatcher MD, MPH
Emeritus Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, GA

The directors and owners of this website and any publications and information concerning health matters offered here advise a person with a particular problem to consult a primary-care clinician or a specialist in obstetrics, gynecology, or urology (depending on the problem or the contraceptive) as well as the product package insert and other references before diagnosing, managing, or treating the problem.
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