An ‘on-demand’ contraceptive pill may suit women having infrequent sex. We assessed the feasibility of e-commerce pharmacy provision and acceptability of levonorgestrel (LNG) 1.5 mg for pericoital use in Kenya.
A 12-month prospective, single-arm, open-label, interventional study conducted from August 2020 to August 2021. A total of 897 women aged 18–49 years at risk of pregnancy and having infrequent sex (ie, six times or fewer coital frequency/month) were screened and enrolled. We undertook univariate and bivariate analysis on multiple data points: enrolment dataset, bimonthly surveys, extended survey around 6-month follow-up, and e-commerce pharmacy sales log.
A total of 2291 pericoital LNG 1.5 mg pill doses were dispensed to 300 women over a 12-month period mainly via the USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) platform. Of the 266 women who obtained the pill and completed the survey, most (83%) were satisfied/very satisfied with e-commerce platform services, citing convenience and ease of use. The pill was also acceptable. Of the 266 women who used it at least once, 94% were satisfied/very satisfied, likely to continue using and would recommend it to others; 86% used it within 24 hours before/after sex as recommended and most of the time they had sex; and 147 (55%) experienced side effects, mainly nausea, headache, changes in menstrual pattern, cramps and dizziness that were mild and tolerable.
E-commerce pharmacy provision of LNG 1.5 mg for pericoital use is feasible. In addition, a pericoital LNG 1.5 mg pill is acceptable among women having infrequent sex and could potentially address their unmet family planning needs.