Use of contraceptive implants has increased dramatically over the past several years. This trend is especially evident in several Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) focus countries, where the addition of implants is increasing the diversity of the long-acting contraceptive method mix. This is all good news.
Contraceptive implants are attractive because they are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy for three to five years, depending on product type. Once inserted, they are “forgettable,” with women only having to think about them when the period of effectiveness is about to expire. What these women cannot forget is that these implants require removal by a trained professional. While the procedure itself is relatively easy, finding a trained provider or making arrangements to get to the implant removal clinic can present challenges—especially in low-resource settings.
IntraHealth International | Media and Communications Specialist
mSakhi is transforming maternal and child health care in Uttarakhand. Photo: Vijay Kutty for IntraHealth International.
This post originally appeared on IntraHealth's blog, VITAL.
One of the smaller states in India, Uttarakhand lies in the Himalayan foothills with international borders touching Nepal and China. It’s a land of mighty rivers, forests, hills, and mountains. Rich in natural resources, it boasts a variety of flora and fauna, including medicinal plants, tigers, and elephants.
Women should be able to find and use a contraceptive method of their choice, and self-injection with DMPA may be an appealing option for those who want to manage their own reproductive health. Photo: PATH/Will Boase
Recent evidence on self-injection of a new injectable contraceptive called subcutaneous DMPA (DMPA-SC) is providing one possible answer to an age-old question in family planning: How do we address barriers that make it difficult for women to keep using contraception consistently?
According to three recent studies, women who self-inject with DMPA-SC in their own homes or communities may continue using injectable contraception longer than those who receive injections from providers. In many Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) countries, injectable contraception is already popular, but often requires women to return to clinics every three months for injections. This can pose a significant barrier to consistent contraceptive use, especially for women who live in rural and remote areas. These new findings on self-injection should be very good news for women who like injectable contraception—if the global FP field has the courage to put this option for pregnancy prevention directly in women’s hands.