Original research article| Volume 85, ISSUE 5, P458-464, May 2012

Pilot study of home self-administration of subcutaneous depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate for contraception

  • Sharon T. Cameron
    Corresponding author. Tel.: +44 131 536 1070; fax: +44 131 536 1609.
    Chalmers Sexual and Reproductive Health Service, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, EH3 9ES Scotland UK

    Department of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, University of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, EH16 5SU
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  • Anna Glasier
    Department of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, University of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, EH16 5SU
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  • Anne Johnstone
    Department of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, University of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, EH16 5SU
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      Subcutaneous depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-SC) offers the possibility of self-administration.

      Study Design

      This is a pilot study of self-administration of DMPA-SC. Existing users of the intramuscular preparation (DMPA-IM) who wished to self-inject (n=64) were taught self-administration using DMPA-SC. The main outcome was the continuation rate of the method at 12 months compared to a control group of existing users of DMPA-IM (n=64) who continued to attend a clinic to receive the method. Women's satisfaction with the method and the proportion of self-injections given at correct time were also determined.


      The 12-month discontinuation rate of the DMPA-SC group (12%) did not differ significantly from that of the DMPA-IM group (22%) (95% confidence intervals of 13%���33% and 6%���23% for DMPA-SC and DMPA-IM, respectively; p=.23). All self-injections were given within the appropriate interval. There was no significant difference in the proportion of women in either group who were satisfied with the method.


      Self-administration of DMPA-SC for contraception is feasible and is associated with similar continuation rates and satisfaction to clinician-administered DMPA-IM.


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