Evofem Biosciences, a California-based pharmaceutical company, has launched a new FDA-approved gel for “on demand” contraception.
How does Phexxi work?
Phexxi is a gel that is applied with an applicator to the vagina immediately before (or up to 1 hour before) intercourse. The applicator is similar to using a tampon. The gel affects the pH level of the vagina to make it so that sperm cannot survive. The gel will not work if applied after intercourse.
Is Phexxi the right choice for me?
Phexxi is a great option for anyone looking for birth control that doesn’t include hormones and is looking for a method that does not require a doctor visit in-person. It’s quick and easy to use. The copper IUD does not contain hormones either, but it requires an in-person procedure to insert it and is a long-term solution, lasting anywhere from three to twelve years. Phexxi requires a prescription and it’s important to speak with your doctor to make sure Phexxi is medically appropriate for you.
Is Phexxi the wrong choice for me?
If you are prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs) or have other known urinary tract abnormalities, Phexxi is not recommended.
What are the side effects of Phexxi?
The most common side effects are vaginal burning, vaginal itching, vaginal yeast infection, urinary tract infection, vaginal area discomfort, bacterial vaginosis, and vaginal discharge. If you or your partner experience any discomfort, you should stop using the gel and speak to your doctor.
How effective is Phexxi?
In a study of 1,400 women aged 18 to 35, Phexxi was about 86% effective on average over seven menstrual cycles and a total of more than 34,000 acts of intercourse. It’s recommended to use another form of protection, such as a condom, to further reduce the risk of pregnancy.
Does Phexxi protect me against sexually transmitted infections?
Phexxi does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so a barrier method (external condom, internal condom, dental dam) should be used in addition to the gel. Note: the gel should not be used in combination with the vaginal ring.
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