New Era for Injectables
There are approximately 12 million current users of injectable contraceptives worldwide. Progestin-only injectables are the most widely used. The first injectables were developed soon after oral contraceptives, but limited availability constrained their use in all but a few countries, such as Indonesia and Thailand. Over the next few years, however, millions of couples throughout the world will be offered a choice of injectable contraceptives. Reassuring World Health Organization (WHO) research findings, the US approval in 1992 of the three-month DMPA injectable, and the introduction of new monthly injectables promise broader access. Whether expanding services or offering injectables for the first time, programs have a new opportunity and challenge to provide good care which responds to client need. This paper considers the user's perspective, introducing or expanding services, research and regulatory approval, the use of injectables, method effectiveness and reversibility, side effects and complications, WHO cancer study findings, noncontraceptive health benefits, maximizing access and quality, and new injection systems to help prevent infection.