I got the Depo shot almost 6 days before I had unprotected sex…

…and he did not pull out. Should I get Plan B or am I protected?

The birth control shot, or Depo-Provera, is a hormonal birth control method used to effectively prevent pregnancy. The hormones prevent ovulation – the process when the ovaries release an egg – and thicken cervical mucus.

With that being said, Depo will be 97-99% effective in preventing pregnancy. The shot is an injection of hormones given every three months; only four times a year! The shot is given by a medical provider into your arm or hip. It will be most effective if taken on time, every time.

Now that we’ve discussed what the shot is, let’s talk about when it becomes effective!

When someone starts a new hormonal method of birth control (like the Depo shot), they need to use a back up method (like condoms or practicing abstinence) for one week before that method will be effective. After that first week, the hormones will be integrated into the body and can help prevent pregnancy up to 99% when taken correctly.

Because you had unprotected sex 6 days after getting the shot rather than waiting the entire week, you were not protected from pregnancy. Plan B (emergency contraceptive) is an option for you up to 5 days after unprotected sex.

If EC is taken within the first 24 hours after unprotected sex, it is 89% effective. If taken on the fifth day after unprotected sex, it is 75% effective. The sooner EC is taken, the more effective it is in preventing pregnancy.

If you need Plan B, you can walk in to any pharmacy and pick it up. There are no longer any age restrictions. You can also pick it up from Teen Clinic during our regular office hours.

It’s also a great idea to consider condoms  and dental dams when you’re engaging in sexual activities. If used correctly and consistently, condoms can help prevent pregnancy and STI transmission by up to 98%! Teen Clinic offers free condoms and dental dams.

Give us a call if you have more questions! 303-442-5160.