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Author: Funmilola OlaOlorun


Self-injected contraceptives: does the investment reflect women’s preferences?

Subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-SC) is an innovative contraceptive method aimed at meeting women’s unique circumstances and needs, largely due to its ability to be self-injected. Substantial research and advocacy investments have been made to promote roll-out of DMPA-SC across sub-Saharan Africa. To date, research on the demand for DMPA-SC as a self-injectable method has been conducted largely with healthcare providers, via qualitative research, or with highly specific subsamples that are not population based. Using three recent rounds of data from Performance Monitoring for Action, we examined population-representative trends in demand, use, and preference for self-injection among current non-users in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa and Kongo Central regions), Kenya, and Nigeria (Lagos and Kano States). We found that while over 80.0% of women had heard of injectables across settings, few women had heard of self-injection (ranging from 13.0% in Kenya to 24.8% in Burkina Faso). Despite initial increases in DMPA-SC prevalence, DMPA-SC usage began to stagnate or even decrease in all settings in the recent three years (except in Nigeria-Kano). Few (0.0%–16.7%) current DMPA-SC users were self-injecting, and the majority instead were relying on a healthcare provider for administration of DMPA-SC. Among current contraceptive non-users wishing to use an injectable in the future, only 1.5%–11.4% preferred to self-inject. Our results show that self-injection is uncommon, and demand for self-injection is very limited across six settings, calling for further qualitative and quantitative research on women’s views on DMPA-SC and self-injection and, ultimately, their contraceptive preferences and needs.

Institutional author(s): Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Individual author(s): Shannon N Wood, Sophia Magalona, Linnea A Zimmerman, Funmilola OlaOlorun, Elizabeth Omoluabi, Pierre Akilimali, Georges Guiella, Peter Gichangi, Philip Anglewicz
Publication date: July, 2022

Journal article BMJ Global Health

Using Human-Centered Design to Explore Potential Users’ and Men’s Views of New Injectable Contraceptives in Kampala and Lagos

Background: Injectable contraceptives are the most used method in sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted market research to assess potential user attitudes toward 4- and 6-month injectables. We also present user suggestions for marketing these new injectables once they are available.

Methods: We implemented a 2-phase market research study from October through December 2021 in Kampala, Uganda, and Lagos, Nigeria. We conducted 11 focus group discussions (FGDs) with 51 participants in Kampala and 12 FGDs with 67 participants in Lagos. FGDs included current and potential injectable users and men stratified by marital status and age. Next, 23 women in Kampala and 24 in Lagos participated in cocreation workshops using human-centered design methods to explore marketing and communications strategies for each injectable. Data collection teams completed semistructured data extraction tables that were then analyzed thematically.

Results: Participants liked both injectable options due to the reduced number of facility visits that would save time and money and increase privacy. Primary concerns included side effects, delayed return to fertility, cost, self-efficacy to self-inject, and stock-outs. Participants in Kampala preferred a shorter reinjection window (or “grace period”) because it is easier to remember and they assumed it meant a quicker return to fertility, but participants in Lagos preferred a longer window because it provides extra time for reinjection. Citing norms around women needing to get pregnant quickly after marriage, participants in both sites felt that the 4-month injectable would benefit young people with busy lifestyles or limited access to facilities, whereas the 6-month injectable would benefit women who already had children.

Conclusions: We found that participants in Kampala and Lagos would prefer additional injectable options to meet the wide-ranging needs of users in different stages of their reproductive lives. Family planning program planners can apply the marketing insights we identified when these new injectables become available.

Institutional author(s): FHI 360
Individual author(s): Holly M Burke, Rebecca Callahan, Anna Lawton, Abigail Turinayo, Oluwatoyin Oyekenu, Sheila Niyonsaba, Oladunni Taiwo, Victor Muwonge Semaganda, Andy Awiti, Audrey Fratus, Fredrick Mubiru, Funmilola OlaOlorun
Publication date: December, 2023

Journal article Global Health: Science and Practice