Sayana Press, a long-acting reversible contraceptive, has been available in the UK since 2013. However, it has now been launched under a new licence giving women the option to self-administer at home instead of having to go to a GP surgery or clinic for repeat injections every two to three months.
Anatole Menon-Johansson, the clinical lead for sexual and reproductive health at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, told BuzzFeed News that the new licence should make the contraceptive more effective, since a lot of women had failed to come back in time for their follow-up injections.
“This is the fourth-best [of all contraceptives] in terms of efficacy with typical use,” he said.
“The failure rate with typical use is about 3 per 100 a year, and that’s because a lot of women don’t come back in time for their injection, or can’t get access to the injection.
“So the innovation about having a self-injectable depo is that, in theory, she’s not going to have any break in contraceptive cover, therefore it should be more effective.”
After an initial training session by a medical professional, women can receive a 12-month supply of Sayana Press, with each jab providing contraception for at least 13 weeks. Women will also be required to have yearly check-ups.
In a statement, Pfizer medical director Selma Patel said the new option could offer a convenient alternative for some women.
“With around 5 million women in the UK choosing a hormonal contraceptive,” Patel said, “self-injectable Sayana Press could offer an alternative to women who are short on time yet still want to take control of their family planning.”