Background: Subcutaneous depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-SC) offers the possibility of self-administration.
Study design: This is a pilot study of self-administration of DMPA-SC. Existing users of the intramuscular preparation (DMPA-IM) who wished to self-inject (n=64) were taught self-administration using DMPA-SC. The main outcome was the continuation rate of the method at 12 months compared to a control group of existing users of DMPA-IM (n=64) who continued to attend a clinic to receive the method. Women's satisfaction with the method and the proportion of self-injections given at correct time were also determined.
Results: The 12-month discontinuation rate of the DMPA-SC group (12%) did not differ significantly from that of the DMPA-IM group (22%) (95% confidence intervals of 13%-33% and 6%-23% for DMPA-SC and DMPA-IM, respectively; p=.23). All self-injections were given within the appropriate interval. There was no significant difference in the proportion of women in either group who were satisfied with the method.
Conclusion: Self-administration of DMPA-SC for contraception is feasible and is associated with similar continuation rates and satisfaction to clinician-administered DMPA-IM.
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