Characteristics of Kenyan women in a prospective cohort study who continue using subdermal contraceptive implants at 12 months

Erica O'Neill*, Jennifer Tang, Joanne Garrett, David Hubacher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective Subdermal contraceptive implant continuation has not been well studied in Africa. We conducted a secondary data analysis to compare baseline characteristics of Kenyan women who continued to use the subdermal implant at 12 months to those who did not. Study Design Kenyan women aged 18-24 years who presented to a family planning clinic for short-acting hormonal contraception were offered a two-rod subdermal implant instead. Participants were followed for 12 months after initiation of their contraceptive method. Statistical analysis included Pearson's chi-square or Fisher's exact tests for comparisons of proportions. Risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to determine factors associated with continuation. Results Eighty-six (89%) of the 97 women who chose the implant were followed for 12 months. Of these women, 68 (79%) continued to use the implant. None of the factors we examined had a statistically significant association with continued use of the implant. Duration of intended use was the only strong factor; 83% of women with 3 + years of need continued using the implant, compared to 56% of those with shorter needs (Risk ratio = 1.48, 95% CI = 0.94-2.31). No substantive continuation differences were found when comparing other participant characteristics including months with their current partner, personal desire and partner preference for future children, previous use of modern birth control and other factors. Conclusion High implant continuation rates were noted regardless of previous use of modern birth control, partner preference for children or baseline concern for menstrual change. Implications Contraceptive use in Africa continues to focus on short-acting contraceptives despite the proven superior efficacy of long-acting reversible contraceptives in other settings. The high subdermal implant continuation among Kenyan women in this prospective study, regardless of baseline characteristics, supports the need for increasing access and future research in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-208
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Africa
  • Continuation
  • Long-acting reversible contraceptives
  • Unintended pregnancy
  • Young women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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