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Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2014 Aug;28(6):795-806. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2014.05.003. Epub 2014 Jun 5.

Progestin-only contraception: injectables and implants.

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Engender Health, and Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health, 440 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. Electronic address:
United States Agency for International Health (USAID), and Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 1201 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 315, Washington, DC 20004, USA.


Progestin-only contraceptive injectables and implants are highly effective, longer-acting contraceptive methods that can be used by most women in most circumstances. Globally, 6% of women using modern contraception use injectables and 1% use implants. Injectables are the predominant contraceptive method used in sub-Saharan Africa, and account for 43% of modern contraceptive methods used. A lower-dose, subcutaneous formulation of the most widely used injectable, depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate, has been developed. Implants have the highest effectiveness of any contraceptive method. Commodity cost, which historically limited implant availability in low-resource countries, was markedly lowered between 2012 and 2013. Changes in menstrual bleeding patterns are extremely common with both methods, and a main cause of discontinuation. Advice from normative bodies differs on progestin-only contraceptive use by breastfeeding women 0-6 weeks postpartum. Whether these methods are associated with HIV acquisition is a controversial issue, with important implications for sub-Saharan Africa, which has a disproportionate burden of both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and maternal mortality.


HIV; depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA); hormonal contraception; hormonal implants; injectable contraception; progestin-only contraception

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