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Does the Depo shot hurt?

By November 2, 2015 - 8:42am
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I have been told that the depo shot hurts but only if you get it in your arm. People have said that they get it in their butt and it doesn't hurt as bad. And my main concern is the bleeding... since I have a heavy period (lasts 8 days) and I have to wear a pad and the super plus tampons, will the bleeding be worse or better with the shot? I am terrified of needles but I really am looking into getting this shot.

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EmpowHER Guest

Okay, here's the low-down.
I've just finished my 2nd year of depo and here are all the details!
I first tried depo when I was 16, and it made me spot bleed continuously. I'd tried it in hopes of making my period more bearable, I would bleed very heavily and for longer than a week. I weighed 115. When I got off the shot, I had TERRIBLE side effects. I lost weight and the back of my legs were covered in bruises. Literally, the back of my calf was one giant bruise.
Fast forward, I'm 20, and I decide to give it another go. I weigh 132 now, and another generally healthier. I love it! I'm just now having my first period in over a year. I have no pms symptoms, or any side effects (other than lowered libido but that is with any bc I've tried).
The shot, feels like nothing. Completely painless.
The injection site, however, hurts for about a week every single time for me. It feels like a bad bruise. I do get it in my side/butt, (when I was 16 and tried it they put it in my arm and it was excruciating and my arm was useless for days).
All-in-all, I've had a good experience with it, but I couldn't consciously recommend it without someone being thoroughly informed of the risks. It's one of the riskier forms of bc with more lasting effects.

March 1, 2018 - 7:37pm
EmpowHER Guest

I'm 17 and I've been on the depo shot for over a year now. The injection is almost painless and It's over in a matter of seconds. The only pain you may experience after the shot, is soreness around the injection area. It just feels like a bruise, but this rarely happens. Out of the 6 shots I've had, this has only happened twice. I used to hate needles, but after having the shot even 3 months, I no longer get scared. I recommend to try the depo provera shot, its quick and easy and only every 3 months. It's good for people who forget to take the pill everyday or people who have a history of strokes in their family

August 15, 2017 - 3:40am
EmpowHER Guest

The birth control shot in your arm to me does not hurt at all I didn't even feel anything I was waiting for it and she was already done. I was reading all of these reviews about how bad they hurt and was afraid to get one but went with it anyways bc it's more convenient then taking a pill everyday it really isn't anything to worry about.

March 22, 2017 - 3:19pm

I only weigh 120 on my period.... my biggest fear is the pain... i get IVs in my hand, is that pretty much how this shot will feel?

November 5, 2015 - 6:31am
Guide (reply to kasandraharper)

Hi kasandraharper,

Personally, I think an injection is less painful than having an intravenous line started. Maybe, because I have poor veins following several courses of chemotherapy.

You will feel the initial insertion of the needle and within seconds it is out. A quick sharp pinch.


November 5, 2015 - 9:33am

Hello kasandraharper,

Welcome to the EmpowHER community. I don't think many people like getting injections and some are more fearful than others.

As a nurse and patient, I will tell you it is all in the technique, injection site and size of the needle.

The Depo-Provera injection is an intramuscular injection, which means it is administered into muscle. The needle gauge for an IM injection should be 22 to 25 gauge.

If you weigh between 130 to 152 lbs, a one inch length needle will be used. If you weigh less than 130 lb, a 5/8 inch needle will be used. Injections sites include the upper, outer quarter of either buttocks or the gluteus medius muscle located in the hip, if you want to avoid the deltoid muscle located in the upper arm.

Being distracted (you, not the healthcare provider) can help.

Good luck,

November 2, 2015 - 9:31am
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