Last night, our condom broke, so I took Plan B®. However, I am also on the Depo-Provera® shot. Was that the right thing to do?

Great question! Depo-Provera® is a hormonal method of birth control, which is super effective at protecting against pregnancy. Plan B® is an emergency contraceptive (EC) pill. EC is a backup method of birth control for preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex. Determining when to take emergency contraceptive (EC), can be tricky, especially if you receive Depo-Provera® injections every three months. When to use EC really depends on the timing of your last injection.

If you just started Depo-Provera® (meaning you just received the first dose), then you’ll need to ask yourself the following questions.

  • Did you receive you first injection during the first 5-7 days of your period?
    • If yes, then you are protected against pregnancy, even if the condom breaks. This means you don’t need to take emergency contraceptive (EC) pills.
    • If no, then you likely started Depo-Provera ® with the “quick start” method (meaning you just started randomly during your menstrual cycle after a negative pregnancy test).

It’s important to mention that if you started Depo-Provera® with the “quick start” method, it still provides protection.  However, for the first seven days following your first injection, you are at risk for pregnancy. This is one of the reasons why condom use is recommended. If this applies to you and the condom broke during this period, then yes, emergency contraceptives (EC) may be recommended. If you are not new to Depo-Provera® and you receive your injections every three months (on schedule), then you should be protected against pregnancy by the injection. Either way, it’s not dangerous that you took the Plan B® while you are on Depo Provera®, but your bleeding patterns may change. It’s important to mention that anytime your health is involved, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your health care provider (HCP) as they know you and your body best!