Many contraceptive methods can be safely and effectively self-administered without a physical exam. Combined oral contraceptives (COCs), progestin-only pills (POPs), emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs), spermicides, some diaphragms, male and female condoms, fertility awareness-based methods, and lactational amenorrhea are all methods that clients can self-administer. Clients can initiate and continue these methods with or without the support of a health care worker. Clients can also self-inject with DMPA-SC after training (see Chapter 4, Teaching Clients to Self-Inject).

In providing family planning services during an epidemic, providers should:

  • Dispense DMPA-SC, COCs, POPs, ECPs, spermicides, flexible diaphragms, and male and female condoms in pharmacies or drug stores without a prescription, where allowed by national regulations.
  • Distribute these methods in community outreach programs without a prescription, where allowed by national regulations.