Depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate contraception use among Salvadoran women: an in-depth analysis of attitudes and experiences

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 Nov;20(11):1751-6. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2010.2264. Epub 2011 Aug 8.


Objective: To survey a cross-section of reproductive-age Salvadoran women in order to assess the factors that influence their decision to use depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), an injectable form of contraception.

Methods: Reproductive-age women at three rural Salvadoran health clinics were asked to participate in a study to assess their current and past experiences using DMPA contraception. Verbal informed consent was obtained, and research coordinators administered a 23-question survey.

Results: Surveys were completed in 425 women with an average age of 27.36 years. Average duration of DMPA contraception use was 2.89 years. The majority (84%) of past and present users were very satisfied with DMPA contraception, most commonly because they did not have to remember to use it daily (44.9%). The side effects of DMPA appear to be a significant indicator of whether women heard about and wanted to use other forms of long-term reversible contraception, such as an intrauterine device (IUD) or implant.

Conclusions: The main reason Salvadoran women chose to use DMPA is because they do not have to think about it on a daily basis. However, many women do not like the side effects and may be open to explore using other long-term reversible methods of contraception, such as IUDs or implants. It is possible that with increased access to educational information about IUD use, safety, and effectiveness, more women would use this form of long-term contraception as opposed to sterilization.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraception / methods*
  • Contraception / psychology*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / adverse effects
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / therapeutic use*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • El Salvador
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate / adverse effects
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rural Population
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate