Temporary discontinuation: a compliance issue in injectable users

Contraception. 2001 Nov;64(5):309-13. doi: 10.1016/s0010-7824(01)00268-2.


This study examined compliance in injectable users and followed women post-discontinuation to document their contraceptive practices. A cohort of 189 predominantly new users of depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate and norethisterone oenanthate were recruited and followed for 2 years regardless of whether or not they continued the method. Continuation rates were 42% at 1 year and 21% at 2 years. Of the 78 women who discontinued the method, 31 reported that they were "taking a break." For 20 of these women, this break (nonuse segment) occurred within the 2-year period, and 15 of them returned to the injection before the end of study period. The other five switched methods after the nonuse segment. The mean length of the nonuse segment was 7 months (range 2-13 months). In all 20 women, no other contraceptive method was used, they remained sexually active, and started the break within 6 months of commencing use of the injectable. In addition, 11 women were in a self-reported nonuse segment at the end of the study and stated their intention to return to the method at a later date. Menstrual disturbances were cited as the main reason for the break. Strengthened counseling at method acceptance was identified as a strategy to decrease the frequency of breaks in injectable method use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Contraception Behavior / psychology*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / therapeutic use*
  • Delayed-Action Preparations / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate / therapeutic use
  • Norethindrone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Norethindrone / therapeutic use
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate
  • norethindrone enanthate
  • Norethindrone