What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To use Depo-Provera:

  • Consult your health care provider about a starting date. To make sure you're not pregnant when you're injected with Depo-Provera, your health care provider will do your first injection within five days of the start of your period. If you've just given birth and you're not breast-feeding, your first injection will be done within five days of giving birth. If you're breast-feeding, your first injection will be done six weeks after you give birth. You can start Depo-Provera at other times, but you may need to take a pregnancy test first.
  • Prepare for your injection. Your health care provider will clean the injection site — either the upper arm or buttocks for Depo-Provera or the abdomen or upper thigh for Depo-subQ Provera 104 — with an alcohol pad. After the injection, don't massage the injection site. Depending on when your start date is, your health care provider may recommend that you use a backup method of birth control for seven days after your first injection. Backup birth control isn't necessary after subsequent injections as long as they're given on schedule.
  • Schedule your next injection. Depo-Provera injections must be given every 12 weeks. If you wait longer than 13 weeks between injections, you may need to take a pregnancy test before your next injection to verify that you aren't pregnant.
Jan. 06, 2012