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Brown discharge and Depo Provera

Depo Provera (also known as DMPA or Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate) is modern hormonal contraception which can be used for long period (one shot for 3 months pregnancy prevention). Depo-Provera is usually injected in the arm or hip or upper thigh or abdomen – it is delivering a high level of progesterone into the body.

Depo Provera stops the ovaries from releasing eggs and causes the cervical mucus to thicken and changes the uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to enter or survive in the uterus. These changes prevent fertilization.

Depo Provera is 97-99.7% effective as birth control but unfortunately DMPA has several unpleasant side effects including BROWN DISCHARGE as well as some serious health risks (osteoporosis, obesity, breast cancer).

Health Benefits of Depo Provera should also be mentioned. Women on DMPA have a decreased risk of endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer and pelvic inflammatory disease. You may have less menstrual cramping and pain, fewer periods and less chance of anemia.

Depo Provera

Depo Provera

DEPO PROVERA Side Effects

red check mark very small  Irregular, abnormal, heavy or no bleeding are common side effects of Depo Provera. High doses of female hormone progesterone are fully changing women normal monthly hormonal rhythm. After DMPA shot ovaries stop producing and releasing eggs which is causing the uterus endometrium and the cervical mucus to thicken. Thickened tissues could be the main cause of annoying long-term brown discharge. After a year of use, many women stop having periods but still continue having irregular brown discharge.

Actually the brown spotting and/or brown discharge are pretty common side effects of Depo Provera.

red check mark very small  70% of women using DMPA gain weight. Almost half of the women using DMPA gain more than 5 pounds after one year of use. Many women gain more than 10 pounds. Increased body fat could contribute to already changes hormonal status and could increase the possibility of brown discharge.

red check mark very small  Other side effects of Depo Provera can include headaches, nervousness, mood changes, bloating, hot flashes, decreased interest in sex, breast tenderness, acne, hair loss, and back ache.

red check mark very small  After the last shot of Depo Provera, it can take over 6 months for the drug to leave the body. During this period women also could experience brown discharge which could linger until the Depo Provera is completely gone.

red check mark very small  If it has been more than 13 weeks since you received the Depo-Provera, it is no longer working as a contraceptive method and you could have brown discharge as a warning. If you want to continue using DMPA, you will need to see your health care provider for the injection. With continued use, some women find that the brown discharge improves and that they have longer time periods when they have no bleeding at all. Depo-Provera works well to prevent pregnancy and is very convenient to use. However, it is not for everyone, especially if you can’t tolerate on-going brown discharge and/or irregular bleeding. There are many other effective methods of contraception with less unpleasant side effects.

DEPO PROVERA Advantages

red check mark very small  Private,

red check mark very small  Effective after 24 hours,

red check mark very small  Does not require regular attention,

red check mark very small  Does not interrupt sex play,

red check mark very small  Has no estrogen component,

red check mark very small  May decrease risk for ovarian and uterine cancers,

red check mark very small  Women can start Depo Provera 6 weeks after giving birth.

DEPO PROVERA Disadvantages

red check mark very small  Causes loss of bone density and risk of osteoporosis,

red check mark very small  Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS

red check mark very small  Requires injections every 3 months,

red check mark very small  Delay of return to fertility,

red check mark very small  Irregular bleeding or on-going brown discharge,

red check mark very small  Most women experience weight gain.


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75 Comments

  1. I never have a period,and I have browno discharge once a month for a few days,not so much of discharge it’s light how can I get rid of the smell :/ making me very insecure but this is the only birth control thats working the best for me ,I do shower and bath everyday .is there something more I could b doing for this smell??

    • Read “VAGINAL ODOR” in this website and discover how you can rid off smell.

  2. Horrible for me brown discharge and cramps

  3. I just started the shot in the beginning of March and I have had brown discharge daily it doesn’t spot or anything its and everyday/all day thing. What should I do?

    • unfortunately it is the common side effect of DepoProvera and you can do nothing – check in – http://www.women-info.com/en/depo-provera-contraception/

      • So there is nothing you can absolutely do to rid the discharge I’ve been off depo for close to 6 months and i only experience after sex… I tired to explain to my partner but as time goes on it gets really embarrassing to experience so much..I’d be grossed out too

    • Get off of Depo Provera as soon as you can. Research more risks. They heavily out weight the benefits. It’s also recently been black listed by the FDA. I’m sure your DR didn’t let you know.

  4. I’ve been on the for about 5yrs now , I’ve had maybe 2-3 periods since I started. I haven’t really gotten the brown discharge but maybe a few times and that was only because I needed my shot and since you have 2 weeks to get the shot , you can start your period within that time , and that is when it would start so I get my shot the first or second day I’m due instead of waiting a week.

  5. I came off the depo about 6 months ago after only having one shot. I didn’t have my period at all during the depo and it only started to return a couple months ago, but generally really light. This month I had two different periods, the first one light and lasting only a few days and then the second one seemed more like my normal period lasting about 5 days. And now not a week later i’m bleeding again! Its brownish in color and I’ve been feeling really uncomfortable kind of crampy kind of nauseous. I was wondering if someone else has had something like this pertaining to the depo or if it might be something else?

  6. Its been a month off depo provra neddle i have been having unprotected sex and a couple weeks ago maybe more i have had very sore breasts around my nipple has been darkerning my breasts are full felling and hurt and a couple days ago i have been noticing on and off brown discharge could i be pregnant or are these side effects of stoping depo …. PLEASE HELP ..

  7. July will make 6 years that I have been on Depo. I have had pretty much zero side effects from this method. I haven’t had one period since I started and zero cramping, bloating, etc. Up until a few months ago I didn’t have any weight gain, but I started a new job where I sit all day long, where at my previous job I was on my feet busy all day. I contribute the weight gain to that instead of the shot. Just commenting in case this helps anyone decide to get this method or not.

  8. I’ve been on the deposit shot in January. I bleed for the first month and a half but then it stopped. I am not back on my period should I be worried about anything? Could I be pregnant?

    • The 3-month Depo-Provera Shot is a hormone injection that lasts for 3 months to prevent pregnancy – if you did not take any more shots, you could be pregnant or you are experiencing side effect – check all in – http://www.women-info.com/en/depo-provera-contraception/

  9. I’ve been on the depo shot for a little over a year and I’m having brown discharge constantly after my periods. if I stop taking the shot will the brown discharge stop? And if so how long will it take?

    • once you stop DepoProvera, after few months your cycle will be normal

  10. I have been on the deposit for about a year. My spouse and I haven’t seen each other in 2 months. I went an seen him and we had intercourse 7 times within the 6 days I was there. Well I started spotting been a week now on and off. My shot is about due but my ovaries hurt badly. And I don’t know why. I haven’t had intercourse in over a week an a half. What’s your thought on the matter????

    • sometimes intensive intercourse can provoke uterus contractions and following brown or pinkish discharge

  11. I had one shot in early march. My periods were light and lasted for 2 weeks tland two weeks apart. I was due for my second shot on june 4th but never got it. Had the usual 2 week long period then a week after it stopped, 3weeks after the start of my last period. I experienced slight cramping and light pibk spotting for a day. It was only there when I wiped. Then nothing. Itwas almost like the start of my period but a week early and only lasted 12 hours. Is this normal? Or could I be pregnant? Also I got the shot after giving birth

    • you missed your shot which means you mess your hormones and now it could be side effect or pregnancy

  12. i have a miscarriage,i have to go for d and c and after that they give me one shot of depo-provera and i refuse to go for another one now i ended up bleeding two weeks on and off for two month and them is stop and i started having this blown discharge, back pain, fating, stomach noise, and now im spotting light blood and is 3 month and some days now[[ please is this normal

    • be careful – could be pregnancy

  13. Hello. I had an abortion on March 13th 2015. I didnt get my depo shot until May 5th 2015. The doctor didnt want to give it to me at first because I was not on my cycle even though I had had one April 19 th 2015. They did a urine and blood test that was said to confirm that I was not pregnant. I would have one last period in may and now it is June 20th and I noticed a brownish discharge when I wiped in the bathroom. Now about 3weeks prior to receiving my shot my partner failed his usual pull out method. Could i be pregnant again? Or is this a common thing?

    • looks like Depo side effect BUT theoretically pregnancy is possible because you had unprotected sex 3 weeks before DepoProvera and tests would be too early for checking;

  14. I received my first shot August 6th 2014. Since my first shot, I have had a very light period from August 6th till May 2015. I was always wearing tampons. In May I got a blood pregnancy test done, to see if I was pregnant because I just stopped bleeding out of the blue. Now yesterday I went to the bathroom around 3pm to find a dark red/brown blood stain in my underwear. The strange thing is I have not had any other bleeding at all from that time to today, could I possibly be pregnant? I have searched online and it says short bleeding is usually implantation bleeding. I just want to know if anyone else has bled one time only on one day and then it just stopped.

  15. Hi. I have been on deps since last August 2014. I haven’t had a period since then. I have been abstinate from sex from November 2014 until June 2015. After having intercourse- I noticed that I started to bleed. It looks like menstral blood- with some clots in it. Its not very heavy… just annoying. Do you have any idea what this could be from? I don’t have any STD’s HELP!

    • intercourse usually stimulate uterine contractions and because for long you did not have periods, contractions push old blood out – nothing to worry

  16. I switched from depo to mirena about a month ago. A week after the switch I began spotting brown discharge. It is still going on now sometimes being normal red in color. Will this continue or should I go to a doctor?

    • it is contraception side effect – normally it will disappear during 7-10 days

  17. Hi I’m on the depo and the mirena for my endometriosis, its to help keep my hormone levels at bay as well as my cysts… I continue to keep getting cysts however every three months. Lately I have been have irregular bowel movents and vaginal pain, I usually have pain during sex but it seems to be worse and today after not having a menstrual cycle for over a year I a slight pink/reddish discharge which I’ve never had since the depo I’ve been in the same relationship for 7 years.. I called my gyno but he told me to follow up with my primary.. I’m concerned because I have a lot of abdominal pain as well.. Should I be concerned?

    • you should visit doctor who provided DepoProvera in combination with mirena

  18. I have been having the Brown discharge for about a month now, my question is can I have sex while I have it? Will it leave a residue on the condom

    • you can have sex ONLY if your partner clean (no infections!) and most probably there will be some discharge on the condom

  19. My last due shot was between Nov 23 and Dec 16 of 2014. I didnt take this shot. I been off depo for about 6months now. Im guessing July 16 will make 7 months. During this time I spotted about 3 times. Light and short Period. Brown discharge not so much. Just when coming off of depo I had the most. If u wanna get pregnant a year or two later this birth control is not for you. It do delay fertilizatioS.

  20. I’ve been taking the depo for about 6 months now. My first three months I never had discharge or a period. I’m on my last month & will need to retake it in about 2 weeks, but for the past 2 weeks I’ve been having constant brown discharge. I wear a panty liner & what comes out just feels like it’s more than normal to me I guess. So should I be worried or this is totally normal ?

  21. Is it okay to have sex while this brown spotting is going on or will it increase it or prolong it or anything?

    • better to avoid sex during brown spotting

  22. Hello! I have tried Depo several times in the past and always bled continuously. Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment because I tried it again in December 14. No bleeding for first two weeks and then…..I haven’t really stopped. I haven’t had another shot since the first but with the exception of MAYBE a sum total of 3 weeks over the last 7 months, I’ve had brown/red discharge and bled. Everyone but everyone is telling me to go to the doctor, I just figure there isn’t anything they can do to make it stop. Do you think this is residual from the shot? Even though it wore off in March? Or is this something entirely different that I should get checked out? Please help!

    • it is always safer to visit your doctor – most probably your body “refuse DepoProvera” because it is making full mess in your hormones – after few months it should be normalized – try not hormonal contraception (for example IUD – without hormonal component!!!!!) – http://www.women-info.com/en/iuds-intrauterine-devices/

  23. I’m a virgin and I got my first shot May 16th and now its July, I started off having slight cramps when I first got it and when June came I started bleeding everytime I had orgasms, I’ve been having irregular bleeding but now its just a brown discharge, why do I bleed after an orgasm?

    • orgasm could provoke uterine contractions and contractions could provoke brown discharge

  24. I have been on the depo for almost a year now and never had a problem with bleeding or spotting or any of that and now all of a sudden in the past week ive been bleeding red blood is this normal what should i do?

    • it is typical for depo

  25. I was put on depo at age 13 because I had a tumor develop on my ovaries. It’s the only thing that my doctor recommend to dissolve cysts and doesn’t have estrogen (or my ovaries would be removed by 14).
    So far, I haven’t had many problems. It’s been 6 years, and I just got my first period; but it’s so light I don’t have to wear anything. I just got back from studying in Europe and I chalk it up to my body being on a different schedule.
    Can’t say much about weight gain because I have PCOS and IBS.
    But it mimics pregnancy, so expect that. Everyone’s body reacts differently, especially to chemicals.

    • I never had patient with Depo from age 13 – it is very exceptional case – it should be discussed with your own doctor

  26. I was only on depo for 9 months i started in august & stopped in june , i wont be doing the shot anymore ., but its the 3rd month now since ive stopped & i noticed i was cramping & went to the bathroom & had a brown discharge that i assumed to be old blood maybe , but i was wondering if this was my body tryna get back normal & regulated and start my cycles again . & i also had major swelling and soreness in my breast & i was wondering will the swelling go down and will stuff go back to normal once this is completely out of my system .

  27. So I was a virgin when she got her first depo shot, July 1st. This was my very first BC method. I was experiencing PMS before my shot but after getting the shot my period never came. My boyfriend and I had sex with a condom on July 8th and July 15th, condoms everytime. I have had a lot of tiredness, soreness, veins on my breasts, and starting July 27th and continuing to today, August 2nd I have been spotting/bleeding, I wear tampons for it. I have had some cramping as well with this bleeding. We are freaking out because we both have college in a few weeks and can’t afford to be pregnant! What do you guys think? Does this bleeding count as a period?

    • could be just side effect of Depo – but it is always useful to exclude pregnancy

      • I am still bleeding and tested negative for pregnancy with a First Response 17 days after last intercourse. So we have ruled out pregnancy, would you agree? the bleeding is now becoming heavy….when should I be concerned and is there anything I can do to help, besides more hormones. Also are the visible changes in my breasts, like veins, other miscoloring, and nipple changes caused by the shot?

  28. Iv been on the depo since september 2014 ( don’t know date ) but I do have brown discharge but that’s nothing new because I usually get that when my shot is near.. so I missed my shot july 31st 2015 that was like a week ago.. august 3 I been having blood miss with brown discharge along with cramps so on august 4-7 no more brown its blood red with bad cramps but its not heavy its coming slowly I called my doctor and one of her nurses said its a period and since I’m a week late ( 3 months and 7 days, shot is due every 3 months) she said use protection? I’m lost why protection? Thought I’m safe for 4 months but I heard people get prego like 2 weeks after there shots due? HELP, need another opinion

    • missed shot always need additional protection (it is safer)

  29. I’ve been on the Depo shot for almost 6 years. Last week I had brown DC from what I thought was vigorous sex (this has happened before with my partner who is blessed). Now 9 days later its Frank blood, like a period. Nothing has changed except I have lost 7 lbs in 3 weeks on a new weight loss supplement. All natural, no stimulants, and no strenuous exercise or anything. I do have level 1 cervical cancer but all was well 6 weeks ago at my semiannual exam and biopsy (nothing has progressed). Should I take a test? Do I just need to be careful and use protection? Should I go ahead and give myself another shot 5 weeks early? (I am a vet and give it myself) I’m 33 and this is all very new with my body.

    • it is kind of your “body protest”, may be it is a time to change the type of contraception; it is also safer to do cervical test now

  30. Hi. Ive got my depo last march 17, 2015 on april I had a normal light period and its stop on may and june. Got sex on june 21, july no period at all and in august still no period id check digital pt on august 3x and it was neg. I had a very bad stomach crampings and nausea. It is side effect of d pill? They said 6 months bfore ur period will coming bak to normal. Help me pls.tnx…

    • most probably your body is recovering after DepoProvera

  31. I were on birth control depo shot I had got off depo on the month of July.right now it have been 3 days I have been spotting first it was brown then pinkish red so I thought oh well that’s normal but it went back to brown I had took an ovulation test my friend had brought she thought it were a pregnancy test but I look online and alot of people said I could use it as a pregnancy test and most likely if it has two lines it means I’m pregnant but my c band was darker then the t band on the ovulation test then I took a pregnancy test it said negative but I have been having stomach pains as in shocking and sharp pains in my stomach and my spotting is unusual.. Please help

  32. Same as my post from August 23: I’ve been on depo for 3 years and never had any bleeding until now. I’ve had moderate bleeding for over a week now and had unprotected sex. Does this mean I could get pregnant because I had my period? My next shot is in a month. Is the effect of the depo not as strong when you are bleeding? Could I take a plan b pill?

  33. Ive been on the depo shot for almost 2 years now and ive probably haven’t had a period for almost a year but recently i had brown discharge for a couple of days and it lead to a period. What does this mean? Im afraid that ill be pregnant because this was so unexpected. Pleae help!

  34. I’ve been on depo for almost 6 years now. The minute I started, I’ve never had a period. No spotting or anything. A few weeks ago, I had intercourse and I noticed a brown discharge the day after. It’s been almost 2 weeks and I get a little discharge everyday. I don’t think I could be pregnanthe because there aren’t any other symptoms. What could this be?