Self-administration of Depot Provera (DMPA) – the way forward?

Self-administration of Depot Provera (DMPA) – the way forward?

F. Lakha, A. Glasier

Lothian Primary Care NHS Trust and Department of Obstetrics and

Gynaecology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

 Introduction: Depo Provera (DMPA) is a popular method of

contraception in the UK, but the need to attend for injection every 12 weeks

involves costs to the health service and inconvenience to the user. A micronised

preparation of DMPA for subcutaneous use has been developed and will allow

self-administration. In anticipation of subcutaneous DMPA becoming available, we

undertook a survey to determine what percentage of women would want to

self-administer the injection and what would be the most suitable method for

reminding women to do it.

Methods: The survey was undertaken in a large family planning clinic

in Edinburgh, Scotland. During one calendar month, a self-administered

questionnaire was offered to every woman attending for repeat DMPA injection. A

questionnaire was attached to every packet of DMPA thus ensuring 100% targeting

of DMPA users. All data will be entered onto a Microsoft access database and

analysed using SPSS.

Results: 176 women completed the questionnaire, there were no refusals.

118 women (67%) were keen to self-administer DMPA. 89% of these women felt that

they would need a reminder for when to inject. The most popular request was for

a verbal reminder (33%) of the next 3 dates for injection at the time of their

annual review; 30% of women preferred to receive a letter, and 25% a text

message, just prior to the date of the next injection. Of the 58 women who did

not wish to self-administer DMPA, the commonest reason was a dislike or fear of

needles (62%); 43% were concerned that they would administer the contraceptive

incorrectly; whilst 33% felt it was important to see a doctor every 3 months.

Forgetting to self-administer was a concern to only 12% of women.

Conclusions: Most women are interested in self-administration of DMPA

and would like to be informed of future administration dates at their annual


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