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Is Depo Provera Likely to Seriously Harm An Unborn Child?

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Long story short a few years ago a woman went to get a depo provera shot, and went through the usual screening. The urine test showed she wasn't pregnant. However(and I'm sure this has happened plenty of times) because it was so early on, it was a false negative. She got the shot and then a month or so later found out she was indeed pregnant.

Now from what I can gather(I've done A LOT of research) the harmful effects of the birth control shot on an unborn baby at any point in the pregnancy are rather minor. There's an increased risk of a low birth weight and potentially stunted growth later in life, but these things can just as easily be caused by excessive stress on the mother during pregnancy or even a poor diet. In undeveloped countries there's an increased infant mortality rate because of circumstances caused by a low birth weight. But something like that shouldn't really mean much in an environment that has proper healthcare. I have yet to find any studies or warnings showing potential life ending ailments caused by exposure to depo provera or even serious physiological damage such as mental retardation, physical disabilities or anything like that.

So why then would a doctor/nurse/whoever convince a woman that there was a very great chance the child would suffer from life altering disabilities because of early exposure to depo provera during pregnancy? These studies have been out for over 15 years. In fact some were completed even before the drug was approved for use in the US, so I don't see how any informed medical personnel would perpetuate the idea that a baby exposed to depo provera would be seriously disabled.

In the end because of how heavily she was convinced, the woman had an abortion, fearing her unborn child had a high chance of developing something which would adversely affect his/her life permanently. As far as I can tell this was completely unneccesary. In actuality the baby most likely would have turned out just fine.

If there are any people here with sufficient medical knowledge or experience, could you shed some light on this? Are there serious side effects I am unaware of? Could there be other factors involving the shot, such as complicating the pregnancy itself and not neccesarily just the unborn baby?
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First Helper proudmom7302008
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replied September 26th, 2010
Pregnant on depo
I am going through this right now. I didn't use depo for a year... I went in and got the shot, but then spaced going in for the next one. when I did go, the pr. test was negative, so I asked the nurse, if I was pregnant and took the shot if it would harm the baby... she said no, that it wouldn't. All it does is stop the egg from dropping. The depo doesn't kill a baby, it just introduces those extra hormone to fool your body into not dropping the egg or something like that. I am really worried, too, but so far the baby is fine. I heard the heart beat and saw her on ultrasound. I am 9 week pregnant. The extra hormones do make morning sickness worse and can effect your mouth, like my gums are sore right now... but it is just from the extra hormones. I can't imagine her telling me the baby would be fine and it not be true. I have talked to a couple dotors since then and they know the story and not one has mentioned any dangers for me or the baby and I am a high risk pregnancy as it is. Of course, I will ask more detailed questions my next visit after all the things I read about it online today.
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replied May 18th, 2011
I am in a similar situation as i speak....i am about 2 weeks pregnant and i took the depo-provera a week ago...my question is was your baby ok at birth
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replied January 18th, 2012
how's your baby right now?...im in a similar situation & im worried for my baby...
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replied January 20th, 2013
This happened to me during my first pregnancy in 1997. I usually don't comment on these things, but I felt compelled to share that my daughter was born a healthy weight of 9lbs 11ounces. She is now almost 15 years old and has had no health issues at all. If anything, she's been quite healthy. She is also incredibly smart, straight A's at a challenging private school including three honors classes. She's also a great athlete who plays volleyball, soccer, and softball. I'm sad that someone ended their pregnancy over this. I'm grateful no one said those things to me back in 1997. I've randomly researched this over the years and I've never seen anything negative. I was told they used to give it to some women to prevent miscarriages, but then discovered in some rare cases that it caused an enlarged cliterus or urethra. None of which was the case for us. Having a baby can be very stressful, but it's an amazing experience. Try to enjoy it.
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replied April 9th, 2013
I was a month along when i recieved my shot and my cervrix didnt wanna soften and open. My daughter is 4 and has many health problems. Shes got speech problems as well and has had some hearing problems as well. She is awaiting her 5th surgery next month on her teeth again. Shes had tubes in her ears tonsils and adnoids fatty cyst off her belly button caps on top 4 teeth and now 2 extractions and filling. Shes been hospitalized for kidney infection at a yr or yr and a half. All this from bein on shot and findin out im pg after i got it. She was a healthy 7 lbs at birth. Am still havin speech problems with her and dnt think its gunna get better. Have had her to an immunologist dr and she has an underlying condition thats not bein caught by no dr and most is genetic problems shes had. She has been through alot growin up and me bein on the shot didnt help
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replied November 20th, 2013
I'm sorry for all that you are going through. Though we as parents cope with things it still hurts none the less. My question for you is, Did you or the babies father have any of the same issues she has? Perhaps some could had been hereditary? Please let me know as this is my first grandson and his mom was a month pregnant when she got her shot. Any insight will help me and make me better prepared. Best of luck to you and your daughter.
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