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The acceptability of self-administration of subcutaneous Depo-Provera

Depo-Provera (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, or DMPA) is an important contraceptive option for women worldwide. Currently, it is only available in intramuscular form requiring regular quarterly routine attendance at a health facility. A new subcutaneous preparation has been developed. This is self-administrable and could potentially reduce need for routine attendance to an annual visit.
In a questionnaire survey of 176 women currently using DMPA, 67% would prefer to self-administer. Of the 33% who did not wish to self-administer, the most common reasons were a fear of needles (62%) and concern regarding incorrect administration (43%). In a second survey of 313 women not currently using DMPA, 64% of women said they would prefer to attend less often for contraceptive supplies. Twenty-six percent of women who had never used DMPA and 40% of ex-users would seriously consider DMPA if self-administration were possible.
Our findings would suggest that the advent of subcutaneous self-administrable Depo-Provera with appropriate training and reminder system is likely to be beneficial and popular with many women.

Institutional Author(s): University of Edinburgh, NHS Lothian Primary and Community Division
Individual Author(s): Fatim Lahka, Charlotte Henderson, Anna Glasier
Publication date: July, 2005

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