More Kenyan women are now opting for family planning injections than any other form of contraceptive.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) Economic Survey 2020 ranked the most popular family planning methods and their level of uptake in Kenya. According to the data, in 2019, family planning injections attracted 2.6 million women. Out of these, 714,518 women took the injection for the first time, representing the largest number of women who opted for this type of family planning method.
In the same vein, 1.9 million women revisited health facilities in the country for family planning injections. The injection is also known as Depo Provera and contains the hormone progestogen, which is similar to the hormone produced in the ovaries. This injection is usually given every 12 week. In 2019, the number of women who preferred to use implants grew for the second year in a row.
In 2018, a total of 692,254 women took implants, out of which 498,018 got it for the first time while 194,236 women were revisiting clients. This number increased last year to 514,213 women who took implants for the first time and 218,768 who renewed their implants. According to Dr Janet Thuthwa, an obstetrician- gynaecologist based in Nairobi, these figures point to an increase in the number of women who are now embracing family planning.
“More Kenyan women embraced contraception last year than in any other year. This is indicative of a reproductive awareness among Kenyan women, especially since figures were fairly higher or stable, leave for vasectomy and bilateral tubal ligation,” she said.
According to the KNBS data breakdown, only 658 men opted for vasectomy while only 8,971 women took the bilateral tubal ligation sterilisation method. In the same period, more women opted for pills combined oral contraceptive than pills progestin only (also known as mini-pill). However, there was a reduction in the number of women who opted for the intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD or coil). The IUCD is a small T-shaped implant made of copper that is implanted in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. For example, in 2019, 174,142 women went for an IUCD insertion compared to 187,558 who embraced IUCD in 2018. Also, the number of women who revisited for another IUCD insertion was 2,043 less than the 80,409 figure recorded in 2018.
According to figures from the Ministry of Health, the contraceptive prevalence rate has been rising steadily over the past one decade in Kenya. This growth has been widely noticeable among women in marriage. For example, between 2009 and 2019, the rate of contraception use among married women in Kenya increased from 46 per cent to 58 per cent.
More family planning injection users