Much of the past research on self-injection of the contraceptive DMPA-SC focuses on how best to integrate self-injection into health services—as well the feasibility and safety of the product. While these are certainly important considerations, limited attention has been paid to women’s contraceptive experiences, desires, preferences, and needs. What does it mean to put more power in her hands through a self-care innovation like self-injection? How does she envision acting on that power? How does she feel once she does, and what kind of support does she want to help her initiate and continue use?
To fill these knowledge gaps, in the last year the DISC project has conducted extensive programmatic research, including interviews with ‘early adopters’ of the product, prospective users, and the public and private sector providers on whom women rely. The consumer-powered insights gathered directly from young women, young mothers, and adult mothers in Uganda and Nigeria provide rich insights that have informed DISC interventions, and formed the foundation of our innovation and learning agenda.
DISC’s learnings shed light on the pathway toward self-injection as a cornerstone of women’s sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) journey, making it an accessible and attractive option for women.
DISC’s recently released Insight Synthesis Report distills these findings and examines self-injection from a “user journey” perspective that breaks down the multitude of considerations facing consumers and providers across five stages.