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Another Best Practice: Leveraging User and Stakeholder Perspectives to Improve and Refine Existing Medical Products

With more than 74 million users, injectable contraceptives are one of the most widely used methods of contraception globally and remain the most prevalent method in sub-Saharan Africa. Depo medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) is the most commonly used injectable contraceptive and is available in both a 3-month intramuscular formulation (DMPA-IM, 150 mg/ml) administered by providers and a 3-month subcutaneous formulation (DMPA-SC, 104 mg/0.65 ml), which is preloaded into a Uniject and can be either administered by providers or self-administered. Although both DMPA formulations are widely used, discontinuation is common; clients frequently cite concerns about side effects (e.g., contraceptive-induced menstrual changes) and delays in expected return to fertility. Adequate counseling can ease such concerns. However, for clients experiencing negative side effects, counseling cannot alleviate the symptoms. These clients have the unenviable choice of either continuing despite distressing side effects, switching to another method that is possibly less effective, or discontinuing and facing the risk of unintended pregnancy.

December 2023

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Resource Type:

Database
Journal Article
Journal Article
Resource

Citation:

With more than 74 million users, injectable contraceptives are one of the most widely used methods of contraception globally and remain the most prevalent method in sub-Saharan Africa. Depo medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) is the most commonly used injectable contraceptive and is available in both a 3-month intramuscular formulation (DMPA-IM, 150 mg/ml) administered by providers and a 3-month subcutaneous formulation (DMPA-SC, 104 mg/0.65 ml), which is preloaded into a Uniject and can be either administered by providers or self-administered. Although both DMPA formulations are widely used, discontinuation is common; clients frequently cite concerns about side effects (e.g., contraceptive-induced menstrual changes) and delays in expected return to fertility. Adequate counseling can ease such concerns. However, for clients experiencing negative side effects, counseling cannot alleviate the symptoms. These clients have the unenviable choice of either continuing despite distressing side effects, switching to another method that is possibly less effective, or discontinuing and facing the risk of unintended pregnancy.

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Authors: Peine, K.J., Fabic, M.S. and Hodgins, S.

Health Risks(s):

  • Unintended Pregnancy

Product type(s):

  • Contraceptives
  • Injectables

Topic(s):

  • Education
  • Development
  • Product Introduction

Region(s)

  • Africa

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