What Are The Pros And Cons Of Phexxi
Pros of Phexxi:
- Side effects are usually limited to the local/vaginal area.
- May be covered by insurance .
- Phexxi does not contain hormones .
- No need to remember to take pillscan be used as needed before intercourse.
Cons of Phexxi:
- Phexxi is not as effective as other methods of birth control.
- Phexxi does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
- Some side effects may be bothersome.
- Patients with urinary tract infections or problems may not be able to use Phexxi.
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Is Phexxi A Spermicide How Does It Compare Vs Spermicides
Phexxi is a gel that works to keep the acidic. An acidic environment decreases the ability of sperm to move. This makes it harder for the sperm to fertilize an egg, which helps to prevent pregnancy.
The chemical in spermicides can cause irritation and other side effects. Phexxi is made of nontoxic ingredients, which may cause less irritation.
To find out more about how Phexxi compares with spermicides, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
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Who Should Use Phexxi
The FDA discourages women with recurrent UTIs or a history of urinary tract abnormalities from using Phexxi.
According to Culwell, there’s no specific demographic of women that Phexxi’s best suited for. She said it’s a good option for any woman looking for non-hormonal contraception, “either because shes tried hormones in that past and hasnt liked them … or they have side effects shes not happy with.”
Culwell also stressed that Phexxi users must be willing to apply the product before every act of intercourse. For women seeking a “set it and forget it” option, like an IUD, this isn’t the best choice. Phexxi is sold in a box of 12 single-dose applicators, and the price will depend on an individual’s insurance coverage.
According to Pathy, this product is ideal for women in monogamous relationships who don’t want to use hormonal, long-acting or permanent birth control and who understand how to use it correctly.
CORRECTION : An earlier version of this article misstated that adverse reactions to Phexxi occurred in less than 2% of users. Adverse reactions occurred in greater than or equal 2% of users.
Using Phexxi With Other Drugs
In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you use Phexxi with certain other kinds of birth control. Examples include latex condoms and vaginal diaphragms. But you should not use Phexxi if you are using a vaginal ring for birth control, such as NuvaRing .
You can also use Phexxi together with medications used to treat bacterial or fungal infections, even if you take them vaginally. For example, Phexxi can be used with:
If youre taking other medications, talk with your doctor to be sure its also safe to use Phexxi.
Questions for your doctor
You may have questions about Phexxi and your treatment plan. Its important to discuss all your concerns with your doctor.
Here are a few tips that might help guide your discussion:
- Before your appointment, write down questions such as:
- How will Phexxi affect my body, mood, or lifestyle?
Bring someone with you to your appointment if doing so will help you feel more comfortable. If you dont understand something related to your condition or treatment, ask your doctor to explain it to you.
Remember, your doctor and other healthcare professionals are available to help you. And they want you to get the best care possible. So dont be afraid to ask questions or offer feedback on your treatment.
Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Phexxi thats right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.
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How Does Phexxi Work
Phexxi differs from N-9 based-contraceptive gels because it uses L-lactic acid, citric acidA naturally occurring preservative, also known as Vitamin C! and potassium bitartrate to maintain an acidic vaginal pH level.1 In an acidic environment, sperm cells die off and are unable to fertilize an egg, thus preventing pregnancy.3
Researchers found that Phexxi was 86.3% effective in preventing pregnancy as a primary form of birth control.1
Phexxi can also be used in conjunction with other barrier forms of birth control including condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps, shared Dr. Jane. Using a combination of a contraceptive spermicide gel and a barrier form of birth control would further reduce the risk of an unplanned pregnancy.
Another bonus? Phexxi can be used with Flex Disc during period sex .
Birth Control Coverage Gaps Scrutinized As Reproductive Health Landscape Shifts
The Biden administration is responding, working to shore up reproductive health policies it can control in the wake of the Supreme Courts overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury have redoubled efforts to ensure payers are covering as many birth control options as possible, including a pressure campaign calling on plans and issuers to provide access to contraception at no cost to consumers as required under the law. | AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
08/19/2022 05:00 AM EDT
Insurers and payers are inappropriately using a years-old FDA birth-control chart to limit access to novel contraceptives as the reproductive rights landscape shifts nationwide, consumer advocates and manufacturers said.
Plans are overly reliant upon an FDA birth control method chart intended as an informational guide for consumers to dictate which products theyll cover with no cost-sharing to patients, some manufacturers argue. Thats made it difficult for companies such as Evofem, which makes the on-demand hormone-free vaginal gel Phexxi, to get insurers and PBMs to cover the product though providers push back against the notion that theyre doing anything to restrict coverage under Affordable Care Act provisions.
These plans are denying women, not complying with what is a mandate, and they are making up interpretations to not provide women access, said Evofem CEO Saundra Pelletier.
Do you want to be the plan thats denying women? she said.
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How To Use Phexxi
Often when we think about contraceptive gels, the words wet and slipperycome to mind kind of like the slip n slide of BC options. But how the heck are you supposed to get a gel up there far enough to do the job?
The new generation of BC options is here, folks. Phexxi is actually delivered in a vaginal applicator: imagine a tampon, but with gel inside. This allows for a more directed approach, and the manufacturers say that their gel is designed to be bioadhesive, meaning that its a low-drip option compared to the older spermicides on the market.
What Else Should I Know About Phexxi
Phexxi is a welcome contraceptive option because you can use it at a moments notice.
Here are a few other benefits, plus some precautions:
Its a good alternative to spermicides. Phexxi is gentler than spermicides that contain nonoxynol-9, which kills sperm but can also irritate sensitive genital tissues.
We know from studies in sex workers that frequent, daily use of nonoxynol-9 spermicides is associated with vaginal and genital irritation, says Andrew Kaunitz, MD. Hes a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Florida College of Medicine Jacksonville.
You need a new dose each time you have sex. For extra protection, you can use Phexxi with condoms or diaphragms . But keep in mind that you must insert a new applicator every time you have sex.
Each dose of gel can only keep the vaginal pH level low enough to fend off sperm in one act of intercourse, Dr. Rarick says. You also need to insert a new dose if you wait more than an hour to have sex.
It could lead to urinary tract infections . If youre prone to recurring or frequent UTIs, you may not want to use Phexxi. It was associated with an increased risk of UTIs in clinical trials, Dr. Rarick says.
You might be itchy. In studies, Phexxi caused vulvovaginal burning in 18% of women and vulvovaginal itching in 14.5% of women. But most of these reactions were mild and didnt cause the women to stop using the product.
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How Effective Is Phexxi
In clinical trials, Phexxi was tested for seven menstrual cycles and was about 86% effective at preventing pregnancy. Almost 14% of women got pregnant during that time. Following the instructions precisely will decrease your chances of getting pregnant.
You may be wondering if Phexxi is more effective than condoms. The answer is, it depends. With ideal use, condoms are 98% effective, but not everyone uses condoms perfectly every time. In real life, they are 85% effective at preventing pregnancy, slightly less so than Phexxi.
Phexxi Is As Effective As Condoms At Preventing Pregnancy
When discussing the effectiveness of birth control, it’s important to know the difference between “perfect use” and “typical use.” As the name suggests, perfect use of a birth control method means it is used perfectly 100% of the time with no mistakes, according to Everyday Health. Obviously, this is not always possible. While Phexxi is 93% effective at preventing pregnancy with perfect use, that effectiveness drops to 86% when typically used, per Planned Parenthood.
This is the same effectiveness as the typical use rate of condoms which is around 87%, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . For comparison, birth control pills are 93% effective and IUDs are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. The benefit of Phexxi is its flexibility. It can be applied right before sex and doesn’t need to be taken daily which may appeal to certain women. However, its low effectiveness means it’s best used in combination with other birth control options, like condoms.
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Phexxi Comes With An Online Education Program
Evofem provides women who are considering Phexxi a telemedicine support system or concierge service. Through a website, women will be able to connect with a registered nurse or other healthcare provider who can answer questions, help with insurance coverage, and connect them to a local pharmacy or one that will deliver.
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What Should I Know About Phexxi Vs Vaginal Contraceptive Film
The chemical that VCFs contain to kill sperm may cause irritation and other side effects. Phexxi is nontoxic, so it may cause fewer side effects.
Both VCFs and Phexxi need to be used shortly before having vaginal sex. Unlike some other forms of birth control, you dont need to use Phexxi or VCFs daily.
If you have questions about VCFs and how they compare to Phexxi, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
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Women Report Better Sex With The New Gel Contraception
Based on questionnaires administered at baseline and at three subsequent visits, a significant number of women reported a positive impact on their sex lives with Phexxi compared with their previous method of birth control. At baseline, just 17 percent of study participants reported their most recent contraception made their sex life a little or a lot better than before. After at least one cycle of Phexxi use, 45 percent of women reported their sex life was a little or a lot better.
Phexxi: A Contraceptive Vaginal Gel
Although the prescription vaginal gel Phexxi® was recently FDA-approved as a contraceptive method in May 2020, this product has been approved since 2004 as Amphora , a personal lubricant. Phexxi vaginal gel is a non-hormonal, user-controlled option for those who prefer on-demand contraception. This product joins the group of chemical barriers, which can be used alone or in conjunction with other contraceptive methods.
The contraceptive efficacy of Phexxi was evaluated in a multicenter, single-arm, open-label, phase 3 study over seven cycles . In this study, investigators at 112 US sites enrolled 1384 participants who were 1835 years old, at risk of pregnancy, and had normal 2135-day cyclic menses to use this product with at least three acts of heterosexual vaginal intercourse in each cycle. Almost half of the enrolled participants completed the study the study drug was used a median of 22 times per participant and median of 3.6 times per participant per cycle.
In summary, Phexxi is a user-controlled, non-hormonal, on-demand contraceptive method that represents a novel addition to the contraceptive market with its additional uses as a personal lubricant and as a potential microbicide for urogenital infection prevention. However, Phexxi requires prescription, which may limit access in context of other available non-prescription vaginal contraceptive products.
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Phexxi: What To Know About The Non
Lately, a friend of mine has been talking about Phexxia newish non-hormonal birth control gel she was thinking of trying. I don’t love admitting this, but I had somehow missed the news on this product and had no idea what she was referring to.
Given that this non-hormonal birth control gel has been growing in popularity, there’s a pretty good chance you might have heard of it too. To help you out, our team at Byrdie decided it’s time to reach out to some experts in the field of gynecology to learn the ins and outs of this new birth control gel.
Meet the Expert
- Tamika Cross, MD, is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist who practices in the Pearland, TX, area.
- Sophia Yen, MD, is board-certified in adolescent medicine and holds an MPH in maternal child health. She is the CEO of Pandia Health.
Here’s what you need to know about Phexxi birth control gel.
Are There Other Alternatives To Phexxi
Phexxi is the only on-demand, FDA-approved hormone-free gel available on the market. Though, there are other hormone-free options like Nonoxynol-9, which isnt as promising as it has a higher incidence of vaginal irritation, resulting in a possible increased risk for STIs, according to Dr. Gray. These types of vaginal contraceptive film or spermicide products kill sperm rather than change the vaginal environment and can be less effective in pregnancy prevention, Dr. Arumala further clarifies.
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What Are The Benefits Of Phexxi
Like spermicide, Phexxi is non-hormonal birth control. So if you prefer non-hormonal birth control, or cant use methods with hormones because of medical problems, Phexxi may be a good option for you.
Unlike spermicide, Phexxi doesnt have nonoxynol-9 in it. So Phexxi doesnt increase your risk of STDs like spermicide can.
You only need to use Phexxi when you have sex. So you dont need to worry about using birth control or dealing with side effects when youre not having sex.
What Does Phexxi Cost
Costs of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors. These include what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use. To find current prices for Phexxi in your area, visit GoodRx.com.
If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Or visit the Phexxi manufacturers website to see if they have support options.
You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.
Like most drugs, Phexxi may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects it may cause. These lists dont include all possible side effects.
Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:
- other health conditions you have
- other medications you take
Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Phexxi. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.
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Phexxi Is A Nonhormonal Contraceptive Option
Many of my patients have cycled through numerous contraceptive options and still have not found the right fit for their sexual and reproductive needs. Phexxi could be appropriate for anyone who is seeking and open to alternatives to hormonal contraception, says Dr. Thomas.
Evofem Terms Of Service For Phexxicom
The website Phexxi.com is provided by Evofem Biosciences, Inc. to provide information and selected functionality to interested parties and provides important information related to the unmet needs that women face today with the lack of non-hormonal contraceptive options and a product that is in development to meet those needs. Healthcare professionals can provide their contact information to engage in communications with Evofem.
NOTE: THESE TERMS CONTAIN A DISPUTE RESOLUTION AND ARBITRATION PROVISION, INCLUDING CLASS ACTION WAIVER THAT AFFECTS YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THESE TERMS AND WITH RESPECT TO DISPUTES YOU MAY HAVE WITH THE COMPANY. YOU MAY OPT OUT OF THE BINDING INDIVIDUAL ARBITRATION AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER AS PROVIDED BELOW.
1 MODIFICATION OF THIS AGREEMENT.
2 OWNERSHIP PROPRIETARY RIGHTS.
3 GUIDELINES USAGE RULES PROHIBITED CONDUCT AND USES.
3.1. YOU UNDERSTAND AND HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT YOU WILL NOT ENGAGE IN THE PROHIBITED CONDUCT AND USES LISTED BELOW . YOU WILL NOT:
3.1.2. use the Site if you are under the age of eighteen years old
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