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An implementation project to expand access to self-administered depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA).

  • Author(s): Katz, Micah
  • Newmark, Rebecca L
  • Aronstam, Alison
  • O'Grady, Niamh
  • Strome, Sara
  • Rafie, Sally
  • Karlin, Jennifer
  • et al.


To describe the implementation and results of a proactive patient outreach project to offer self-administered, depot medroxyprogesterone (DMPA) subcutaneous (SC) to interested patients at a California safety-net clinic following expanded state Medicaid coverage.

Study design

We contacted non-pregnant patients at an urban, safety-net hospital-based primary care clinic who had been prescribed DMPA intramuscular (IM) in the past year to gauge interest in self-administered DMPA-SC. Interested patients received a prescription for DMPA-SC and a telehealth appointment with a clinic provider to learn self-injection. We recorded patient interest in DMPA-SC, completed appointments, and completed first injections. We conducted initial outreach in May, 2020 and recorded appointment attendance and completed injections through August, 2020.


Of 90 eligible patients (age 17-54), we successfully contacted and discussed DMPA-SC with 70 (78%). Twenty-six (37%) patients expressed interest in DMPA-SC and scheduled telehealth appointments to learn to self-administer the medication. Fifteen (58%) of those interested (21% of the total) successfully self-injected DMPA-SC. Of the 44 (63%) patients not interested in DMPA-SC, the three most common reasons were fear of self-injection (n = 23 [52%]), wanting to stop DMPA (n = 11 [25%]), and satisfaction with DMPA-IM (n = 6 [14%]).


There is interest in and successful initiation of self-administered DMPA-SC among patients at an urban safety net hospital-based primary care clinic who have used DMPA-IM in the last year.


Our data provide evidence for the interest and successful first injection rate after offering self-administered DMPA-SC to patients on DMPA-IM. Expanding coverage of self-administered DMPA-SC could increase patient-centeredness and accessibility of contraception as well as reduce patient anxiety around COVID-19 transmission without losing contraceptive access.

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