Depo is a shot that prevents pregnancy for 3 mos, but not STDs. Always use a condom.

Depo is a shot that prevents pregnancy for 3 mos, but not STDs. Always use a condom.

The contraceptive shot that clinics have been giving to teens and adult women for many years is called Depo-Provera. It is a shot that the woman gets every 12 weeks to keep from getting pregnant. The shot only has progestin in it. Progestin is very much like one of the hormones a girls’ body begins to make after she has her first menstrual period. .

The shot works well to prevent pregnancy. But it does not protect against HIV or other STDs. If you are having anal, vaginal, or oral sex with a guy who might give you an STD, use a condom. If you are having oral or vaginal sex with a girl, you should use a dental dam. But it’s best not to have sex with anyone you think will give you and STD. The person should get tested first to make sure you don’t get an STD.

Advantages of the shot:

  • It’s easy to use and lasts for 12 weeks.
  • It’s very good at preventing pregnancy.
  • It may help prevent some health problems, like cancer of the uterus.
  • Periods are lighter and less "crampy". Many women don’t have any periods.
  • Some women like not having a period.
  • The shot can be used by women who can't take estrogen.
  • It doesn't interrupt sex.

Possible Side Effects

  • Changes in menstrual bleeding. You may have longer or shorter periods, or just light spotting of blood instead of having a regular period.
  • You r period may not come regularly or they may stop completely. Your periods will return to normal after the last shot wears off.
  • You may have spotting in between periods. For most women, this decreases or stops over time.

Some medicines may keep the shot from working as well, so tell your doctors if you’re taking the shot. If you need to take one of these medicines, you may need to use a back up method of pregnancy prevention, like condoms, until you finish the medication. Your doctor will tell you if this is necessary.

Other side effects and possible warning signs.