Monday July 16 2018

Is it possible to get pregnant while using Injectaplan?


By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

I have used Injectaplan for the past one year. However, I now feel pregnant but urine tests are negative for pregnancy? Why?

Dear Sandra,
Injectaplan (depo provera) is an injectable contraceptive. When given on time (every 12 weeks), it can be more than 99 per cent effective. However, it may have side effects, which a family planning clinic usually counsels women about.

Many women in the first three months of getting the injection may get irregular bleeding, which may culminate into stopping to have periods after about 6-12 months. When a woman of child-bearing age misses periods, she is deemed pregnant. Also, when one uses depo Provera, they may get other side effects or symptoms that also appear in pregnancy including, weight gain, nausea, stomach cramping or pain, bloating, dizziness, headache, tiredness, drowsiness, irritability, breast tenderness, acne, decreased sex drive, and food cravings which can all be mistaken for pregnancy.

Anybody getting these side effects should have pregnancy ruled out first and further counselling given. Injectaplan may be given to a woman who is already pregnant but the commonly used urine pregnancy tests are still negative, hence resulting in the injection exaggerating the pregnancy symptoms. It is important that injectaplan is given during one’s periods or within five days after starting a period when it starts working immediately. If given later than the five days, one should use condoms for the next seven days to avoid pregnancy.
So, in your case, it is not injectaplan making the pregnancy undetectable but rather the injection has side effects that resemble pregnancy.