Self-Care and Contraceptive Technology
In this video, Grace Gayoso Pasion, Asia Regional Knowledge Management Officer for Knowledge SUCCESS sits down with Lisa B. Haddad, Saumya RamaRao, and Harriet Birungi of the Population Council and authors of a commentary published in Contraception titled Addressing contraceptive needs exacerbated by COVID-19: A call for increasing choice and access to self-managed methods. They discuss the importance of self-care and call for research and development that expands options for more and better self-managed contraceptive methods in order to increase access, acceptability, affordability, and equity for family planning users globally.
What motivated you to write this commentary about self-care and increasing access to self-managed contraceptive methods? Why now?
The focus of this series is increasing acceptability, accessibility, affordability, and equity in family planning. How do you define these terms? How do self-managed methods of contraception contribute to this aim?
"I believe self-care products have the potential to change the dynamic...self-care products offer the possibility of not only increasing the autonomy of a person over use and stopping use, they can pick it up from any number of health outlets, from standard clinics to the local community-based health outpost or a drug store in the community. So if it is easily accessible, then you are facilitating uptake and continued use." -Saumya RamaRao
What are some self-managed methods in the pipeline or that currently have limited market availability that you are excited about and why?
"Ultimately this broader group of self-care methods that are across the pipeline offer people multiple opportunities to meet their needs and that's really exciting because not one woman wants the same thing as another woman and those needs can change throughout the reproductive life span." - Lisa Haddad
In your opinion, what is the most important action item that people watching this can take to support the expansion of reproductive healthcare through self-administered contraceptives, especially as COVID-19 continues to impact communities?
"Every now and then I think about self-care and I ask myself where does it belong in terms of policy. Because we need to create an enabling environment and it starts with the policy. What we need really to do is to start engaging with the policymakers so there is proper guidance at the country level to try and understand self-care and to enable it to happen." - Harriet Birungi
If you could create a new self-managed contraceptive method that better addresses the needs of users, what would that look like? What characteristics would it have?