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Home Family Planning Vaginal Methods

Vaginal Methods of Contraception

Vaginal methods
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 Zealand.

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.

Advantages:
  1. Safe, woman controlled methods that almost every woman can use.
  2. 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.
  3. It offers contraception when needed. No daily action needed.
  4. No side effects from hormones.
  5. No effect on breast milk.
Disadvantages:
  1. 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.
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