Our ForumMiss (Replies 1)
ContraGel Natural Spermicide Alternative
ContraGel contraceptive gel is a nonoxynol 9 free spermicide alternative to be used in conjunction with a diaphragm or cervical cap.
Despite the lack of harsh chemicals ContraGel is effective on a number of levels.
- The thick gel provides the added seal necessary for effective barrier contraceptive use.
- The viscous consistency creates a a physical barrier to the cervix.
- The lactic acid reduces ph-value of vaginal mucus making it inhospitable to sperm.
Before inserting a diaphragm or cervical cap into the vagina cavity, about 3 ml of gel is deposited into the cavity of the diaphragm or the brim of the cervical cap. Then, the diaphragm or cervical cap is folded and inserted into the vagina.
The tip of the cervix should be resting in the gel, and the barrier should be completely covering the cervix. As such, the cervix is covered and closed twice: first by the silicone membrane of the barrier, then by the gel. These two physical barriers prevent sperm from entering the cervix. If sperm does by-passed the silicone barrier, comes in contact with the gel and can not move into the cervix and uterus. Please note the instructions for use on each individual diaphragm or cervical cap to ensure proper usage.
ContraGel formula is water-based. It is effective with silicone and natural latex rubber barriers.
Store in a cool and dry place.
ContraGel is a class II medical device. It is approved by the European Union as such with the CE0124 approval mark. It is available Over-The-Counter (OTC) in the UK.
Pharmacist can order ContraGel with PIP 364-9134.
Since 1972, ContraGel has a well established record of use and safety. Its previous brand name when it was under production of NVSH Netherlands was Contracep Green.
ContraGel is not FDA approved so should not be marketed or distributed in the USA
How It Works
Is ContraGel a Spermicide?
The medical description of spermicides states that it must contain nonoxynol-9 as the active chemical component in order to be considered a spermicide. ContraGel, of course, does not contain nonoxynol-9, so it is not considered a spermicide in the traditional sense.
It does, however, perform the same role as spermicide with equal or superior efficiency of traditional spermicide.
Does ContraGel Kill Sperm?
No, not on contact — because it doesn't need to. ContraGel is a thick, viscous gel, so sperm simply can not travel through it. A diaphragm or cervical cap can not form an absolute seal on their own so the gel substance seals any potential gap to complete the physical barrier. ContraGel also uses a base of lactic acid with a pH of 3.8 which is hostile to the sperm.
What is the ContraGel Pearl Index Rate?
There is no Pearl index for ContraGel because it isn't a contraceptive method, rather it is used with a barrier method such as diaphragms or cervical caps. When you come across the Pearl index ratings of various barrier contraceptives, be aware that these studies are vastly influenced by incorrect usage. This happens so often that different reliability rates are often published, one with perfect or correct usage and one for incorrect usage.
Remember, if you want to fall into the correct usage category for your barrier contraceptives, you must be applying contraceptive gel to the device before every act of intercourse.
Why Avoid Spermicide
Why Should I Traditional Avoid Nonoxynol-9 spermicide?
According to Wikipedia (April 2010) "Nonoxynol-9, sometimes abbreviated as N-9, is a compound that is used as a surfactant. It is a member of the nonoxynol family of nonionic surfactants. N-9 and related compounds are ingredients in various cleaning and cosmetic products. It is widely-used in contraceptives for its spermicidal properties. However, its use is controversial because it may cause genital lesions."
The genital lesions are a result of N-9's abrasive qualities (which incidentally make it an ideal cleaning agents). The abrasions within the vagina can cause irritation and can also damage skin cells, which can increase the risk of transmitting diseases such as HIV. From 1996 to 2000, a UN-sponsored study carried out in several locations in Africa followed nearly 1000 sex workers who used nonoxynol-9 gels or a placebo. The HIV infection rate among those using nonoxynol-9 was about 50% higher than those who used the placebo; those using nonoxynol-9 also had a higher incidence of vaginal lesions, seemingly contributing to the increased risk.
Some cases of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) have been reported in women using nonoxynol-9. TSS is uncommon, but is a serious condition that can result in death.
ContraGel entered the market to offer women a safe contraceptive alternative without the risks and side effects of nonoxynol-9.
Does ContraGel Cause Skin Irritations?
The simple, all natural ingredients in ContraGel make irritation rare. However, just like you could have a reaction to a certain food, there is always the possibility of reacting negatively to ContraGel. Each person's body is unique. What we do know is that spermicides containing nonoxynol-9 have a high rate of reactions in users. If you are concerned for any reason before using ContraGel for the first time, we recommend applying a small amount to the skin as a test to see if you have an adverse reaction. If you have a special skin condition discuss it with your dermatologist before using ContraGel.
And remember, your partner's skin will come in contact with the gel so make sure you tell him you're using it in case he would like to test it on his skin as well.
I've Heard Spermicide Is Banned In Some Countries. Why Is That?
In some countries spermicides that contain nonoxynol-9 are no longer distributed. This isn't because they are banned per-se, it's that they are simply not being licensed for medical prescription. This is typically due to a government policy aimed at promoting hormonal contraception which can be cheaper for the government and more profitable for pharmaceutical companies.
How To Use
Is ContraGel A Form Of Birth Control?
No! ContraGel is designed to be used along with a diaphragm, Caya diaphragm, or cervical cap.
It can also be used as a lubricant with condoms and give an element of protection if the condom splits, but it must never be used on its own.
Can ContraGel Be Used With Silicon Barriers Like FemCap?
Yes. ContraGel is water soluble, so it is safe to use with silicone barriers like FemCap.
Can Live Sperm Enter My Cervix After I Remove My Barrier Device?
No. Diaphragm and cervical cap manufacturers suggest their product be coated in a spermicidal gel and left in place for several hours after intercourse. Any sperm that were pushed forward during ejaculation will come in contact with the gel. The moment there is contact with ContraGel, the sperm are immobilized and begin to die rapidly because of the pH change induced from the gel.
After the barrier is removed many hours after intercourse, the sperm will have become stuck in the gel, and died off because of the low PH. In addition, hours after intercourse there is no force of ejaculation to propel the sperm towards the cervix.
Can ContraGel Be Used With Condoms?
If a condom is used correctly, no spermicide or contraceptive gels are necessary. But life doesn't always go according to plan, and using ContraGel with a condom can only increase effectiveness.
In general people use contraceptive gels like ContraGel with condoms to take advantage of their mild lubricating effects. By using a gel in such a way the main contraceptive benefit is reducing the risk of 'contamination,' i.e. sperm and ejaculate ending up outside the condom through pre-ejaculate sperm or a tear in the condom.
In the event of a condom splitting while full of ejaculate, the sperm at the tip of the condom could easily reach the cervix just a few centimeters away. In that scenario, applying some contraceptive gel directly to the tip of the cervix would probably offer a small element of protection. But remember, at that point you are relying upon the gel to prevent pregnancy with no other physical barrier, which is not the recommended way of using ContraGel.
How Many Uses Will I Get From A Tube Of ContraGel?
The 60 gram tube of ContraGel typically provides 15-20 applications. These numbers are based on the typical requirements of three to four ml applied to diaphragms and cervical caps for each act of intercourse. Additional ContraGel should be applied to the barrier with a finger or vaginal applicator if more then one act of intercourse occurs.
When To Use
Can I Use ContraGel While Menstruating?
ContraGel shouldn't be used while you are menstruating. However, remember that intercourse only has the risk of pregnancy for about 6 days per cycle during your fertility window. A healthy egg is only able to be fertilized for 18-24 hours and sperm can't survive for more than 5 days inside of you so that span of 6 days (5 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation) are really the only time when barrier contraception needs to be used for pregnancy protection. Click here to learn more about identifying your Fertility Window for contraception
Is ContraGel Medically Approved?
ContraGel is not classed as a 'drug' for licensing purposes but a Class II medical device. It is approved by the European Union with the CE0124 approval mark. This makes it available over-the-counter, without a prescription.
Is There A Prescription Form Of ContraGel?
ContraGel is not available with a prescription in any country that we are aware of, although we understand that many insurance companies and HMO's will cover the cost if contraception is a provision of your policy.
Who Manufacturers ContraGel?
ContraGel was manufactured from 1972-2003 by the Dutch Family Planning Association (NVSH) under the name Contracep Green. It was recently bought back into production because of high consumer demand by DeltaMed GmbH, a German based ISO 13458 certified manufacturer under the new brand name ContraGel Green.
|Product||ContraGel - The Natural Alternative to Spermicide - 60ml Tube|
|Country of Manufacture||Germany|
|Medical Device?||Class IIa|
|Instructions||Download The ContraGel Instructions|
|Product Sheet||Download The ContraGel Product Sheet Here|
|Product Videos||Video: How ContraGel Works from EthicalFamilyPlanning.com|
|Consumer Support||Visit EthicalFamilyPlanning.com for ContraGel Information|
|What's It Used For?||To Ensure The Chosen Barrier Contraceptive Is Well Sealed While Also Immobilizing Sperm|
|Components Included||Water, Lactic Acid, Sodium Lactate, Methyl Cellulose, Sorbic Acid|
|Notes||Must Be Used With A Barrier Contraceptive|
|What's In The Box?||1x ContraGel 60g, 1x Manufacturer's Instructions For Use|
|Why Buy?||All Diaphragms and Cervical Caps Require Contraceptive Gel. Choose Contragel To Avoid Toxic Spermicide. Vegan.|
|Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price||£15.00|