Self-injection best practices: Designing family planning programs that work

June 18, 2018 by PATH

Research in Uganda and elsewhere shows that women can self-administer DMPA-SC safely and effectively, that they like doing so, and that self-injection helps support continued use of injectable contraception.

A woman self-injects the contraceptive, subcutaneous DMPA (DMPA-SC). PATH/Gabe Bienczycki

A woman self-injects the contraceptive DMPA-SC (brand name Sayana Press). Photo: PATH/Gabe Bienczycki

As the Uganda Ministry of Health plans for national rollout of this new option for women, PATH’s DMPA-SC Self-injection Best Practices initiative is gathering information about how the practice can be designed and implemented at a broader scale. The team in Uganda has applied user-centered design techniques to develop, implement, and evaluate self-injection program models across delivery channels: public-sector facilities, community-based distribution, private-sector outlets, and safe spaces for young women and adolescent girls. As of late 2018, program data showed that more than 7,000 women were using self-injection contraception across four districts.

As PATH evaluates these programs, we are regularly sharing insights and lessons learned. If you are planning a self-injection program in your country please feel free to email For more information, see the resources listed below, visit, orsign up for our newsletter.

*DMPA-SC: Subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate

Sayana Press is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc.

“It saves time to inject at home, and it’s private. Another reason is you get courage. I used to fear the needle so much.”
— Self-injection client, Uganda