Self-administration of the contraceptive injection Depo-Provera is feasible, and is associated with similar continuation rates and patient satisfaction to clinician-administered injections, according to a pilot study in Scotland.
Some 64 women who already received the intramuscular injection and wanted to self-inject were taught to administer a subcutaneous preparation, currently unavailable in the UK. At 12 months, the discontinuation rate was not significantly different to the control group of 64 existing users who chose to continue with clinic visits rather than self-inject – 12% and 22% respectively.
There was no significant difference in the number of women who reported being satisfied with their chosen method – 93% of those self-injecting compared with 97% of those visiting a clinic. There was also no difference between those who said they wished to continue with their chosen method – 90% and 91% respectively.
Author Professor Anna Glasier, honorary consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Edinburgh, said: ‘Self-injection is the norm for diabetics who require insulin and for women who need injections of fertility drugs to become pregnant, so why not give women the opportunity to be able to self-inject contraception?’
She added: ‘It is likely that self-administration may offer other benefits such as cost savings for users – travel, time off work, childcare costs – and for the health service.’