How Can a Partner Help?

The client’s partner is welcome to participate in counseling and learn about the method and what support he can give to his partner. A male partner can:

  • Support a woman’s choice of a progestin-only injectable
  • Show understanding and support if she has side effects
  • Help her to remember to get her next injection on time
  • Help to make sure she has ECPs on hand in case she is late for an injection by more than 4 weeks for DMPA or more than 2 weeks for NET-EN
  • Use condoms consistently in addition to the progestin-only injectable if he has an STI/HIV or thinks he may be at risk of an STI/HIV

“Come Back Any Time”: Reasons to Return Before the Next Injection

Assure every client that she is welcome to come back any time—for example, if she has problems, questions, or wants another method; she has a major change in health status; or she thinks she might be pregnant.

General health advice: Anyone who suddenly feels that something is seriously wrong with her health should immediately seek medical care from a nurse or doctor. Her contraceptive method is most likely not the cause of the condition, but she should tell the nurse or doctor what method she is using.

Planning the Next Injection

  1. Agree on a date for her next injection in 3 months (13 weeks) for DMPA, or in 2 months (8 weeks) for NET-EN. Give her a paper with the date written on it (or dates, if she is self-injecting and taking home more than one injection device). Discuss how to remember the date, perhaps tying it to a holiday or other event or circling a date on a calendar.
  2. Ask her to try to come on time. With DMPA she may come up to 4 weeks after the scheduled injection date and still get an injection. With NET-EN she may come up to 2 weeks after the scheduled injection date and still get an injection. With either DMPA or NET-EN, she can come up to 2 weeks before the scheduled injection date.
  3. She should come back no matter how late she is for her next injection. If more than 4 weeks late for DMPA or 2 weeks late for NET-EN, she should abstain from sex or use condoms, spermicides, or withdrawal until she can get an injection. Also, if she has had sex in the past 5 days without using another contraceptive method, she can consider emergency contraceptive pills (see Emergency Contraceptive Pills).