A comparison of progestogen-only injectable contraceptives

  • Bridget Adams
Keywords: progestogen-only injectable contraceptives, POICs, DMPA, NET-EN, Petogen®, Depo-Prover®, Nur-Isterate®


Progestogen-only injectable contraceptives (POICs) are slow-release reversible preparations that last for 2-3 months. Two are available in South Africa, namely depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), marketed as Petogen® and Depo-Provera® (Schedule 4), and norethisterone enantate (NET-EN), marketed as Nur-Isterate® (Schedule 4). They provide safe, convenient and acceptable contraception with high use-effectiveness. An overview of the similarities and differences between DMPA and NET-EN are outlined in order for practitioners to assist women in the selection of an acceptable POIC. Particular information on bleeding profiles, managing overdue injections and controlling breakthrough bleeding is outlined. Recommendations are given for adolescents and older women. The POIC effects on certain diseases are discussed.

Author Biography

Bridget Adams
RN, BN(Education), MSc(Nursing) Sexual and Reproductive Health Nurse Practitioner Pinelands Business Park Ndabei Cape Town
Women's Health