As new reproductive health products become available, women increasingly want to take a participatory role in their health. New developments and formulations of contraceptive products provide an opportunity to support this evolving trend toward self-care. Self-care, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), highlights the ability of individuals to promote health, prevent disease, and manage their own health with or without the support of a health care provider. WHO self-care guidance includes self-care recommendations related to use of family planning, including self-injection of injectable contraceptives and over-the-counter provision of oral contraceptive pills.
This paper published in Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology focuses on the research evidence of self-administration (self-injection) of DMPA-SC, and the practical experience of providers, women, and family planning programs adopting self-injection practices. The authors also explore the role of self-care in the provision of other contraceptives.