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At what age is it safe to stop using Depo-Provera? #513/9
At what age is it safe to stop using the Depo-Provera injections? Can someone who has used the injection for eight years and is now 49 years old, stop using it? What are the chances of getting pregnant if the injection is stopped at this age?

You would be very, very unlikely to become pregnant and carry a pregnancy to term were you to stop contraception completely today.


The average woman goes through menopause at age 51.3.


You are protected for about 17 weeks after your last shot, so if you took shots until about 51 you will have covered yourself well.



The most conservative approach would be to continue Depo injections a bit longer OR stop now, use condoms and then see if your periods have stopped.  If you go 6 to 12 months without bleeding consider yourself to have gone through menopause.


Perhaps the very best approach would be to have a Mirena IUD inserted.  Leave it in for10 years and then at any time start some estrogen replacement in the form of a low dose patch. 


Would this last approach have any appeal to you?



Key Words:  age, safe, Depo-Provera injections, pregnant, menopause, protected, condoms, periods, bleeding, Mirena IUD, low-dose patch


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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