Answers from the Health Educator – Latest and Greatest

Question from July 15, 2018

QUESTION: Hello, after I get the Nexplanon how much time do I have to wait to have sex without protection?

ANSWER: It takes a new method of birth control, including Nexplanon, 7 days to become fully effective at preventing pregnancy.  And although Nexplanon is the most effective method of birth control (other than abstinence) it is still not 100% effective.  Also remember that Nexplanon does not protect you against STDs and that only condoms can protect you from getting an STD.

Question from July 14, 2018

QUESTION: How long after my first depo shot do I have to wait until the shot is fully effective and safe to have unprotected sex?  I did not get the shot while on my period.

ANSWER: It takes a new method of birth control, including depo, 7 days to become fully effective at preventing pregnancy.  It is still important to remember that no method of birth control is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy (other than abstinence) and that depo will not protect you against STDs (only condoms and abstinence can protect you from infections).

Question from July 11, 2018

QUESTION: Hi! I have a question concerning my birth control; I got my Nexplanon Implant on August 1st 2017 (about a year ago through Teen Matters) during the first day of my period and I did not have a period after that one up until about 2 weeks ago.  That period lasted around 5-7 days, it wasn’t painful or super heavy, but I’m starting to spot again! I am wondering if I am still protected from getting pregnant or if the implant is lowering in dosage or concentration.  Do I need to replace it if I get regular or frequent periods?  Does that mean it is becoming less effective?  Thank you very much!

ANSWER: A change in bleeding patterns is completely normal while on Nexplanon and those changes do not mean your implant is any less effective!  Changes in bleeding patterns are fairly common for many Nexplanon users – some users only experience the changes for the first 6 months or so, while other users may experience it intermittently throughout the 3 years they have the implant.  Breakthrough bleeding or irregular bleeding does not indicate that the birth control is not working as effectively so you do not need to worry about an increased risk of becoming pregnant- Nexplanon is the most effective method of birth control (other than abstinence) available and your chances of becoming pregnant are very, very low!  If the bleeding persists you can come back in to Teen Matters (if you are still under 20) and discuss the bleeding with a nurse.  If you have turned 20 since you got your Nexplanon you will want to call the Clarke County Health Department and set up an appointment for a counseling visit with a nurse to discuss the bleeding.

Questions from July 10, 2018

QUESTION: Hi, my boyfriend and I had unprotected sex this last Wednesday and I’ve been on the Nexplanon for a year and 2 months but don’t want to over think things he’s more than positive he didn’t cum inside me at all (pull out method) but I was just curious for a different input.  I’ve been kinda worried but don’t think he did.  I have been having a sick stomach though but felt bloated… Does pee smell different as an early sign?  Or could it be food you eat and lack of water that makes it stink?  Thanks so much.

ANSWER: Nexplanon is the most effective method of birth control (other than abstinence) available.  Your chance of pregnancy on Nexplanon is 0.0005% – meaning less than 5 in 10,000 women will get pregnant while on Nexplanon.  The symptoms you are experiencing are more likely from dehydration and diet, a stomach bug, or just from something you ate.  If those symptoms persist though you should follow up with your doctor’s office to discuss what could be causing them.  Please let me know if you have any further questions.

QUESTION: I got my period on last Sunday and I had sex protected that same day.  I then stopped bleeding on Friday and was spotting but then Saturday I started bleeding again.  Could I have gotten pregnant from that Friday I stopped bleeding?

ANSWER:  There is no way of knowing whether or not you are pregnant unless you wait until it has been 2 weeks since the date you had sex and take a pregnancy test.  Changes in your bleeding pattern are not necessarily a sign or symptom of pregnancy though.  Changes in bleeding patterns can be the result of many different things and pregnancy is just one of those possibilities (others could include an infection or STD, hormonal changes, changes in birth control method).  Unless you begin experiencing other signs or symptoms of pregnancy you probably do not need to be worried – but if you are still concerned after 2 weeks you could go ahead and take a pregnancy test and get an accurate result.

QUESTION: So I been having sex recently with my boyfriend and i was wondering why after having sex 2 days later I get a heavy bleed for a day?  Plus I’m on the depo shot..

ANSWER: Changes in bleeding patterns while on hormonal birth control can be fairly common – but if the bleeding only occurs when you have sex or after you have sex you may want to consider following up with your doctor/clinic and discussing the bleeding you are experiencing as bleeding can be a sign of an infection or STD.

Question from July 8, 2018

QUESTION: If I have sex a week in a half before my next Depo shot is there a chance I’m pregnant? I’ve been having pregnant symptoms like bleeding, sore breast, cramping, and peeing a lot.  Idk if it could be a uti or what.  I’m just worried because I read stories about people becoming pregnant on Depo but I thought when your on Depo our eggs our frozen and theirs a 1% chance so how?

ANSWER: As long as you were not over due for your next depo shot when you had sex, then the chance of you becoming pregnant is very, very low.  Bleeding is not a symptom of pregnancy – the bleeding, cramping, and peeing could indicate a UTI or other infection – the bleeding, cramping, and sore breasts are also common symptoms some depo users experience right before they are due for their next depo shot.  Although pregnancy can still occur for some depo users, it is not common, and usually only occurs when users do not return to their clinic or doctors office on time for their next depo shot and have unprotected sex.  With perfect use depo is considered to be 99% effective – with typical use depo is closer to being 94% effective (so approximately 6 women on depo out of 100 will become pregnant during a year).  Depo does not freeze your eggs but the hormones in depo work to prevent ovulation, thicken your cervical mucus, and thin the lining of the uterus – and all of those things work together to prevent pregnancy.

Question from July 7, 2018

QUESTION: I got the depo shot on the 28th of June so Thursday (it was my first shot and it wasn’t five days after my period) of and they said to wait a week to have sex and I had unprotected sex on the next Thursday which is 7 days and he also didn’t ejaculate in me.  Is there still any chance of me getting pregnant or is it safe to take a Plan B?

ANSWER: By the time you had sex (7 days after you started on depo) your shot was fully effective at preventing pregnancy and your chance of pregnancy is very, very low. Remember, no method of birth control (other than abstinence) is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy, so although there is a chance that pregnancy could still occur it is very unlikely.

Question from July 6, 2018

QUESTION: I have had the Nexplanon implant for about a year now and I’m also on the birth control pill to help with irregular periods.  My boyfriend and I had unprotected sex (he did not ejaculate inside me) a couple days before I was to start my period, and I still haven’t started my period, should I worry?

ANSWER: Nexplanon is the most effective method of birth control (aside from abstinence) and your chances of getting pregnant while on Nexplanon are less than 0.0005%.  Changes in bleeding patterns are common while on Nexplanon – so the missed/late period is likely just a result of the Nexplanon and birth control pills and not a sign of pregnancy.  Unless you begin experiencing other signs or symptoms of pregnancy you do not need to be worried.

Questions from July 5, 2018

QUESTION: I got my depo shot (for the fourth time) June 15, and had unprotected sex the same day, a few hours later, once.  He did not ejaculate in me, but there of course was pre-ejaculation.  I received my shot on time, but I’m hearing that the shot isn’t effective until 24 hours later?  That scares me, what are my chances of being pregnant?  Also, a little over a week later I had unprotected sex, and he DID ejaculate in me.  Could you give me an estimated percentage of my chance of pregnancy?  I’m really worried…

ANSWER:  I cannot give you an estimated percentage of your chance of pregnancy because that is an umber that will vary for every woman and every depo user.  What I can tell you is that as long as you get your depo shot on time you are provided with continuous protection against pregnancy so you do not have any lapse in pregnancy protection.  So any chance you have of getting pregnant from having sex will be very, very low.

QUESTION: Hey, my next depo shot is next week.  And I was wondering do they test you for STDs as well as pregnancy test before you get your next shot?

ANSWER:  Different offices/clinics may have different protocols that they follow – at Teen Matters we do not test for pregnancy or STDs before each depo shot.  We will run a pregnancy test if a patient is late for their next depo shot (or birth control refill) or if they request pregnancy testing.  STD testing is only done once per patient for free (female patients will get testing annually done for Gon/Chlam/Trich).  Rescreening can be done after 3 months if a patient has tested positive for an STD and received treatment.  If you think you need STD testing or have concerns, make sure you discuss them with your doctor/nurse when you go in for your next depo shot.

QUESTION: Hello, I don’t get my next depo shot until later in July and I’m bleeding real bad like I’m on my period and cramping real bad and me and my boyfriend had unprotected sex do that mean it’s a chance of pregnancy?

ANSWER: If you are not past the due date for your next depo shot then it is very unlikely that you are at risk of pregnancy at this time.  Bleeding while on a hormonal method of birth control is not a sign that you are at risk for pregnancy.  Changes in bleeding patterns are common while on hormonal birth control and should NOT be taken as a sign that the birth control is not providing you with protection from pregnancy.

Question from July 4, 2018

QUESTION: On May 17th I had my period – two weeks later on the 5th of June I started spotting on and off when I wiped for 5 days, now its July 4th and still had no bleeding.  Took a test today that said negative – what could this mean?

ANSWER:  Irregular bleeding/no bleeding can mean several different things – pregnancy is one those, but if you have taken a pregnancy test and it was negative, it is most likely that the irregular bleeding/absence of your period is the result of something else.  As long as it has been more than 2 weeks since the date you had unprotected sex, then your negative pregnancy test was accurate and it is unlikely that you are pregnant.  I would advise you follow up with your doctor/nurse that you see regularly to discuss your concerns about not having a period.   They will also be able to help to further get to the root of the problem.

Questions from July 3, 2018

QUESTION: I was on my period the whole time on my depo shot.  I’m a week late on getting my shot and I had unprotected sex.  Am I at risk at being pregnant?

ANSWER: Yes – anytime you do not get your depo shot on time and have unprotected you are at risk of becoming pregnant.  If you do not wish to become pregnant taking a Plan B emergency contraceptive pill will help to reduce your chances of pregnancy.  Also, make sure to return to your doctors office/clinic as soon as possible to get restarted on birth control.  Depo may not have been the right fit for you (since you stated you were bleeding the entire time) but you can discuss what other options may be available to you that may be a better fit for you as well!

QUESTION: So I had a miscarriage on May 6, 2018 and I got my depo shot that same day and today is the first I start back having sex but I had unprotected sex and I don’t get my next shot until July 30th.  So can you tell me am I good on getting pregnant?

ANSWER:  You are still protected from your first depo shot you received on May 6th.  Depo shots provide users with 3 months of protection against pregnancy – so as long as you get your next depo shot on time (July 30th according to your question) then you will have continuous protection against pregnancy and you will not experience a lapse in protection.

Questions from July 1, 2018

QUESTION: I got my 2nd injection May 21st of depo.  I was cramping and there is light bleeding.  I was wondering if it could be my period, but does that mean I will ovulate?  Or is it still safe to have sex during this?

ANSWER: Many users report changes in their bleeding patterns while on depo – which is most likely what you are experiencing.  Changes in your bleeding pattern do not necessarily indicate that you will ovulate.  And as long as you get your depo shot on time every 12-14 weeks then you have continuous protection against pregnancy and your chances of becoming pregnant will remain very, very low.

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