•The injection is very useful for women who find it difficult to remember to take a pill at the same time every day.
•The contraceptive injection steadily releases the hormone progestogen into your bloodstream, which prevents the release of an egg each month (ovulation).
Contraceptive injections are the most preferred family planning method used by Kenyan women.
595,703 women in Kenya are using Family Planning (FP) Injections, according to the 2022 Economic Survey data released on Thursday.
There were 1,837,945 revisits for the FP Injections in 2021.
Further, the Economic Survey indicated that Kenyan women also went for the insertion of the implants which had the second-highest number of new clients at 576,795 while pills combined with oral contraceptives came third with 475,308 re-visits during the review period.
Permanent family planning methods recorded low uptake with the number of women undergoing Sterilization Bilateral Tubal Ligation decreasing to 3,616 while male Sterilization Vasectomy recorded 248 clients.
Family planning is a human right and is indispensable to the realization of all sexual and reproductive rights.
According to the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, the injection lasts for 8 or 13 weeks and it is the most preferred because women do not have to think about contraception every time they have sex.
"The injection is very useful for women who find it difficult to remember to take a pill at the same time every day," NHS said.
How the injection works
According to NHS, the contraceptive injection steadily releases the hormone progestogen into your bloodstream, which prevents the release of an egg each month (ovulation).
It also thickens the cervical mucus, which makes it difficult for sperm to move through the cervix, and thins the lining of the womb so a fertilized egg is less likely to implant itself.
"If you have the injection during the first 5 days of your menstrual cycle, you'll be immediately protected against becoming pregnant but if you have the injection on any other day of your cycle, you'll need to use additional contraception for 7 days," NHS states.
For breastfeeding mothers
You can have the contraceptive injection any time after you have given birth if you're not breastfeeding. If you're breastfeeding, the injection will usually be given after 6 weeks.
The scientists say side effects can include weight gain, headaches, mood swings, breast tenderness and irregular bleeding.
In 2014, only 7.8 per cent of Kenyan women of reproductive age were using birth control secretly without their partners' knowledge, a practice called covert contraceptive use.
But by 2018, the number had jumped to 12.2 per cent but is highest among uneducated women at 22.3 per cent.
“The prevalence was high among older, uneducated, poorest, and rural women, and among women who neither had children nor wanted for more children,” said Catherine Akoth from UoN’s Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases.