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 likely 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 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.
Dec. 13, 2014