Predictors of DMPA-SC continuation among urban Nigerian women: the influence of counseling quality and side effects

Contraception. 2018 Nov;98(5):430-437. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2018.04.015. Epub 2018 May 4.


Objectives: In 2015, private healthcare providers in Nigeria introduced DMPA-SC (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate administered subcutaneously) into the method mix. We aimed to [1] examine the sociodemographic predictors of continued DMPA-SC use after 3 months, and [2] characterize the additional influences of contraceptive counseling quality and experiences of side effects on continuation.

Study design: From March to August, 2016, we conducted phone interviews with a convenience sample of women obtaining DMPA-SC from selected providers to survey them about their experience obtaining an initial dose of DMPA-SC. Study coordinators contacted women again about 3 months later after when they were due for reinjection. We used logistic regressions to examine the likelihood of having obtained a subsequent dose of DMPA-SC at follow-up as predicted by sociodemographic characteristics, a quality of counseling indicator based on responses to a 14-item scale, and reports of side effects experienced.

Results: Of the 541 DMPA-SC users who completed the first survey, 311 were reached again via phone after 3 months to conduct a second survey. Multivariate results for sociodemographic predictors of continued DMPA-SC use show that those with some college education or more (OR=2.79; 95% CI: 1.09-7.14), and those with four or more children (OR=2.89; 95% CI: 1.09 0 7.67) were more likely to obtain another dose. Our summary quality measure showed that women overall rated the quality of their initial counseling session high. Logistic regressions indicated that higher quality during the initial counseling session is related to the likelihood of getting another dose of DMPA-SC (OR=2.04; 95% CI: 1.12-3.47) whereas experiencing more bleeding reduced the likelihood of continuation after 3 months (OR=0.15; 95% CI: 0.07-0.34).

Conclusions: Among urban Nigerian women, both counseling quality and experiencing side effects were important factors in predicting continued use of DMPA-SC after 3 months. These findings are consistent with previous studies of DMPA and injectable contraception continuation.

Implications: New contraceptive methods that are designed for increased access and ease of use, combined with high quality provision, have potential to increase contraceptive use in settings with low levels of contraceptive prevalence. Higher quality counseling can help encourage women's continuation of a new injectable contraceptive method at 3 months.

Keywords: Continuation; Contraception; Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA); Side effects; Subcutaneous injection; User experience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / administration & dosage*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / adverse effects
  • Counseling
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Medication Adherence / psychology
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate / administration & dosage*
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate / adverse effects
  • Nigeria
  • Urban Population


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate