Vaginal methods are contraceptives that a woman places in her vagina
shortly before sex. There are several vaginal methods:
- Spermicides, including foaming tablets or suppositories, melting
suppositories, foam, melting film, jelly and cream.
- Diaphragm, a soft rubber cup that covers the cervix. It should be
used with spermicidal jelly or cream.
- Cervical cap is like the diaphragm but is smaller. It is not
widely available outside North America, Europe, Australia and New
Spermicides work by killing sperm or making sperm unable to move
towards the egg. Diaphragms block the sperm from entering the uterus and
tubes, when sperm could meet an egg.
- Safe, woman controlled methods that almost every woman can use.
- Help prevent some STDs and conditions caused by STDs--- pelvic
inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, ectopic pregnancy and
possibly cervical cancer. May offer some protection against
HIV/AIDS, but this has not been demonstrated yet.
- It offers contraception when needed. No daily action needed.
- No side effects from hormones.
- No effect on breast milk.
- Side effects:
--- Spermicide may cause irritation to woman or her partner,
especially if used several times a day.
--- Spermicide may cause local allergic reaction (rarely) in the
woman or her partner.
--- Can make urinary tract infections more common. (A woman can
avoid this by always after sex).
2. Effectiveness requires having method at hand and taking correct
action before each act of sexual intercourse.
A woman can begin using a vaginal method any time during her monthly
cycle and soon after childbirth, abortion or miscarriage.
The diaphragm and cervical cap generally should not be fitted, however,
in the first 6 to 12 weeks after full-term delivery or second-trimester
spontaneous or induced abortion, depending on when the uterus and cervix
return to their normal sizes. If needed a woman can use the spermicidal
alone or with condoms until then.