Unintended pregnancy remains a worldwide problem in both developed and developing countries. In 2001, 49% of pregnancies in the United States were unintended. Moreover, more than 6 million women annually are at high risk of becoming unintentionally pregnant because of a gap in contraceptive use, and disadvantaged women are more likely to have more difficulty than others with continuous method use. Multiple strategies have been explored and implemented to increase the effective usage of contraception, including promoting the use of longer acting reversible contraceptives.
Difficulty in access to depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) remains a problem. With the advent of a subcutaneous formulation of DMPA, administration outside of the clinical setting is possible. The acceptability of self administered DMPA has also been reviewed, with favorable outcomes? however, the actual intervention has not been studied.
This study will recruit women presenting for abortion or contraceptive services at the Columbia University and New York Presbyterian affiliated Family Planning Clinic and Special Gynecology Services who desire DMPA for contraception. Women will be randomized to two groups: self administration of SC DMPA or clinic administration of SC DMPA. The primary objective of this study is to compare the continuation rates of SC DMPA between the self and clinic administration groups at 6 months. Secondary outcomes include participant satisfaction, cost effectiveness of self-injected use of DMPA, baseline predictors of method continuation or discontinuation, evidence of persistent skin changes following administration of SC DMPA, and need for continued clinical support.