Self-administered subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-SC) is poised to increase access to contraception; however, governments are concerned about the waste management of used units. Self-injectors in Malawi and Uganda are currently instructed to store used units in containers and return them to health workers for disposal. However, this may not be feasible in low-resource settings, especially for younger or covert self-injectors. We describe adolescent (15–19 years) and adult (20–49 years) self-injectors’ disposal experiences in Uganda and Malawi. When possible, we compare covert and overt users’ experiences.
Adolescent and covert family planning users’ experiences self-injecting contraception in Uganda and Malawi: implications for waste disposal of subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate
As low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) consider adding self-administration of subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-SC) to their contraceptive method mix, learning about family planning clients’ and providers’ experiences with self-injectable DMPA-SC during trials will inform introduction and scale-up efforts. We conducted semistructured interviews with 30 randomly selected adult women enrolled in the self-administration group of a 12-month randomized controlled trial studying DMPA-SC continuation rates in rural Malawi. We asked about their experiences learning to self-inject, self-injecting, remembering when to reinject, and storing and disposing of DMPA-SC. We also interviewed 12 providers — clinic-based providers (CBPs) and community-based health surveillance assistants (HSAs) — who trained clients to self-inject DMPA-SC during the trial. We asked about their experiences training and supporting women to self-inject DMPA-SC during the trial and their recommendations for scale-up of self-administered DMPA-SC.
This study measured acceptability of DMPA-SC (Sayana® Press) among intramuscular DMPA (DMPA-IM) users. Current DMPA-IM users in Senegal and Uganda accepted DMPA-SC, and most preferred DMPA-SC over DMPA-IM. DMPA-SC can be safely introduced into family planning programs and administered by trained community health workers, with expectation of client uptake.
Sayana® Press (SP), a subcutaneous formulation of depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) in Uniject™, has potential to be a valuable innovation in family planning (FP) because it may overcome logistic and safety challenges in delivering intramuscular DMPA (DMPA IM). However, SP’s acceptability is unknown. We measured acceptability of SP among clinic-based providers (Senegal only) and community health workers. This open-label observational study was conducted in clinics in three districts in Senegal and community-based services in two districts in Uganda. Providers administered SP to clients seeking reinjection of DMPA IM. We conducted in-depth interviews with 86 providers (52 in Senegal, 34 in Uganda) to assess their experiences providing SP to clients.