Should I Use A Fertility Awareness
Life stages or events that cause your periods to be unpredictable can make FABMs less effective in preventing pregnancy . You may want to consider other types of birth control, if any of the following applies to you :
You recently started having periods
You are close to menopause
You have just ended hormonal birth control
You have recently birthed
Your periods are unpredictable
Have a high risk of getting an STI
You are not able to avoid sex or use a barrier method during days with high risk of becoming pregnant
Your partner is not willing to participate in the FABM
If becoming pregnant would be dangerous to your health or be very damaging to your life, a more reliable form of birth control may be a better option.
How Effective Is Phexxi Compared To Other Forms Birth Control
According to data cited by the FDA, Phexxi is about 86% percent effective with typical use. . Planned Parenthood says this means about 14 in 100 women who use Phexxi will become pregnant.
That’s much less effective than the implant, an IUD, or male or female sterilization, which has about a 99% effectiveness, per the CDC. Even with typical use the patch, the ring, the shot, and the Pill-which range from 91%-94% effective-are all also more effective than Phexxi.
Instead, the new birth control method is more on par with other non-hormonal methods like male and female condoms, diaphragms, spermicides, and the sponge, at preventing pregnancy. Worth noting: The CDC calls these methods “less effective” than their counterparts.
Planned Parenthood also says you can use Phexxi with plastic or latex condoms for extra protection against pregnancy as well as STDs. Phexxi can also be used with a diaphragm as well as some other types of hormonal contraceptives, like the patch, Pill, or shot. You should not, however, use Phexxi with a vaginal ring.
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:
- your age
- 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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Creams Foams And Suppositories
Unintended pregnancy in one year of use: 21% typical use, 16% perfect use .
Spermicides are barrier methods that are often used with condoms, the cervical cap, and/or the diaphragm to make them more effective . They are available as small solid capsules called suppositories, foams, or creams . Apply spermicide close to the cervix. Do this by inserting the applicator, suppository, or cream into the vagina as far as you can . Spermicides slow down sperm and stop them from entering the cervix .
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.
Phexxi is packaged as a pre-filled single-dose applicator of 5 g of gel to be administered intravaginally up to 1 h prior to each episode of vaginal intercourse . The gel is a vaginal pH regulator that contains lactic acid, citric acid, and potassium bitartrate these active ingredients maintain the naturally acidic vaginal environment to reduce sperm motility and potentially enhance the vaginas anti-microbial defenses . The pH of this gel is approximately 3.55 and has improved acid-buffering capacity compared with other vaginal gels meant for acid-buffering in the presence of alkaline semen . Furthermore, Phexxi is characterized by high bioadhesive and viscosity-retaining properties in comparison to other commercial gels, which contributes to decreased product leakage from the vagina .
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Fda Approves New Hormone
Nearly all women use birth control at some point in their lives, and soon theyll have one more option available. On May 22, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Phexxi, a non-hormonal contraceptive gel that works by keeping the pH levels in the vagina acidic, and thus inhospitable to sperm.
What makes this new option different? As mentioned, it will offer women a new non-hormonal option, so women who cant or prefer not to use birth control with hormones will have an alternative to condoms, the copper IUD, diaphragm or cervical cap. Its also an on-demand option, meaning it can be used as needed. The gel comes in an applicator and can be inserted just before sex.
In clinical trials, Phexxi was about 86% effective on average over seven menstrual cycles. Some women developed cystitis, pyelonephritis and other upper urinary tract infection , so its not recommended for women with a history of recurrent urinary tract infection or urinary tract abnormalities.
Expect to see this option available in September.
Accessible Medication Containers And Labels
If its hard for you to read the label on your prescription, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Certain pharmacies may provide medication labels that:
- have large print
- use braille
- contain a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text into audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that offers these options if your current pharmacy doesnt.
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When Hormones Aren’t An Option
According to the Nature commentary, about one-third of women globally discontinue hormonal birth control methods within the first year of taking them, often because of side effects.
That was the case for Lenise Sunny Wilson, who attributes severe depression to the birth control pills she had been taking.
It completely changed who I was as a person, said Wilson, 38, of Tucson, Arizona. It messed with my emotions and my mental health so intensely.
Wilson has since stopped taking the pill and, for the most part, she said, has returned to her sunny self.
Some women, including those with certain cancers and heart conditions, cant take hormonal birth control. Erica Twidle, 33, from Gallatin, Tennessee, was diagnosed with a rare heart condition called peripartum cardiomyopathy while pregnant with her daughter, Della. The condition made Twidles heart weak and enlarged, and although she eventually recovered, Twidles doctors told her she shouldnt take hormonal birth control, or get pregnant, ever again. Both would jeopardize her heart.
Twidle, whod had a bad experience with the copper IUD in the past, decided to track her cycle. But nine months after having Della, she was pregnant again. I cried when I found out, she said. I was terrified. I had a child I needed to stay alive for.
Twidle calls herself one of the lucky ones, since her heart stayed strong enough to support pregnancy. But had things taken a turn, Twidle was prepared to get an abortion to stay alive.
How Annie Murphy Became A Driving Force Behind On
Whether its dreaming up a small town exit strategy on Schitts Creek or plotting a murder on Kevin Can F**k Himself, Annie Murphys TV characters always know their next move. But in one major aspect of her personal life, the actress was very much winging it for years.
I full-on stopped birth control and crossed my fingers, Murphy told Verywell.
She wasnt trying to get pregnant. After a decade of relying on contraceptives like the pill and NuvaRing, she was fed up with the side effects of hormonal birth control.
I felt out of sorts and I didnt feel right in my body, Murphy said. It took years for me to put two and two together and realize it was the hormones I was putting in my body every single day, even when I wasnt having sex.
Because they are convenient, effective, and reversible, hormonal birth control options are quite popular. Most birth control pills, the birth control patch, and vaginal rings contain both estrogen and progestin, though progestin-only pills are available.
Not everyone experiences side effects from these types of contraceptives. But spotting, nausea, and headaches are some of the most commonly-reported issues. Additionally, research links hormonal birth control to antidepressant use and first-time depression diagnoses, especially among adolescents.
Watch the full interview below.
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Does Phexxi Have Any Side Effects
Phexxi does produce some common side effects upon application. These include mostly itching, burning, and discomfort around the vulva and vagina. Male partners may also experience these symptoms during intercourse. Other possible side effects of Phexxi include:
- Vaginal fungal infection
- Vaginal discharge
- Painful urination
Because of these possible side effects, Phexxi is not recommended if you suffer from recurrent UTIs or other urinary tract issues.
If youre interested in learning more about Phexxi, or other available methods of birth control, make an appointment at South Avenue Womens Services. Our womens health specialists can provide you with the information you need to choose the right kind of birth control and then get you set up with whichever procedure, prescription, or product you determine is best for your needs.
Call us today at to set up an appointment with one of our doctors!
How Effective Is Phexxi
If you use it perfectly, Phexxi is 93% effective. But people arent perfect and it can be easy to make a mistake so in reality, Phexxi is about 86% effective. This means that around 14 out of 100 people who use Phexxi get pregnant.
It’s really important to use Phexxi according to the instructions every single time you have penis-in-vagina sex, or it won’t work as well.
Phexxi works even better when you combine it with another method of birth control like condoms, internal condoms, withdrawal , or a diaphragm. You can also use Phexxi with hormonal methods of birth control, like the pill or patch. But dont use Phexxi with the vaginal ring .
If you want birth control that gives you the best pregnancy protection and the most convenience, check out IUDs and the implant. Theyre the most effective kinds of birth control and you dont have to do anything for them to work once they’re in your body.
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Phexxi: What You Should Know About The New Birth Control Gel
The number and variety of options of birth control on the market have grown steadily over the last few decades. This is great news for women, who gain more control of their body, reproductive rights, and sex life as contraception becomes more accessible. The even better news is that the effort to expand birth control options and access is ongoing, with new products being researched and developed constantly.
One of newest birth control products to gain FDA approval is a contraceptive gel called Phexxi, manufactured by Evofem Biosciences, a pharmaceutical company based in San Diego. Lets go over what you need to know about it.
How Much Does Phexxi Cost
Phexxi may not be covered by your health insurance. Without insurance, Phexxi costs $374 for 12, 5 gm of 1.8-1-0.4% gel*. You can save money on your prescription with a SingleCare coupon.
*Prescription prices change frequently. Search for Phexxi on singlecare.com for current prices before you go to the pharmacy.
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Hormonal Birth Control: A History Of Limited Options
For decades now, hormonal birth control has been the most common form of birth control and the go-to for helping women fix hormonal imbalances. Classic hormonal birth control like the pill, or certain IUDs, utilizes synthetic hormones to stop or reduce ovulation, thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg, or thin cervical lining to make a fertilized egg less likely to attach. These hormones signal our body to behave in a way it may not otherwise.
But for many women, hormonal birth control may not be the best option. Several groups of women may not be good candidates for hormonal birth control including those with high blood pressure, breast cancer, heart disease, severe diabetes, liver disease, a history of blood clots or a history of stroke. Plus, women who are seeking non-hormonal options, but are allergic to latex, find themselves left with very few options.
A Word From Verywell’s Medical Expert Board
“Phexxi is a new vaginal gel contraceptive. It is female-controlled and on-demand, meaning you only use it when you need it. Many women may like the fact that it is non-hormonal. This means it may have fewer side effects. But if you decide to try it, know that it is probably not as effective as IUDs or the pill. It also will not protect against STIs.” Anju Goel, MD, MPH
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Types Of Nonhormonal Birth Control
- What is it? A saucer-shaped silicone cup that you put into your vagina to block semen from entering your womb. You must be fitted for a diaphragm at first by your doctor.
- How well does it work? If you use the diaphragm correctly and add spermicide, you have a 6% chance of getting pregnant after a yearâs use. But the odds double if you donât always use it or donât use it exactly right, the way a typical person does.
- Pros and cons. You can carry your diaphragm and put it in just before you have sex. Itâs reusable for 12 months. If you decide you want to start a family, stop using it. A diaphragm wonât protect you from STDs. You have to leave it in for at least 8 hours after sex. You also may be more likely to get vaginal or urinary tract infections. Learn about the best ways to prevent a UTI.
Outercourse and the pull-out method
Natural family planning
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Withdrawal As A Birth Control Method
Unintended pregnancy in one year of use: 20% typical use, 4% perfect use .
The withdrawal method involves removing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation . It does not protect against STIs. Couples who use withdrawal correctly each time may find that it works well for them . Perfect use can be difficult and the chance of pregnancy increases with typical use . Some research shows that pre-ejaculatory fluid can leak before ejaculation . If this happens, sperm could enter the vagina even with perfect use .
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Effectiveness Of Nonhormonal Birth Control Gel
When used as directed by a medical professional, Phexxi is 93 percent effective, according to the company. But in typical use , its effectiveness drops to 86 percent.
That means it may not work for roughly 14 out of every 100 people who use Phexxi as their sole method of birth control.
Nonhormonal birth control gel has a higher effectiveness than that of a male condom, female condom, or spermicide, per the FDA . However, its less effective at preventing pregnancy than oral contraception, the patch, shots, IUDs, or surgical sterilization.
Using Phexxi with some other types of birth control can make the gel more effective, though. While it cant be used with vaginal rings, it can be used with:
While Phexxi doesnt come with the same side effects as hormonal birth control, it does have certain risks.
The most common side effects of the nonhormonal birth control gel include:
- vaginal burning, itching, or discomfort
- yeast infections
- bacterial vaginosis
- vaginal discharge
In clinical studies of the gel, a few cases of bladder and kidney infections were reported, one of which was serious.
With that said, side effects are uncommon, and when they do happen, they tend to be mild. Fewer than 2 percent of participants in clinical trials stopped using Phexxi due to an adverse reaction, according to the manufacturer.
You should not use Phexxi if you or your partner are allergic to the birth controls ingredients, which include:
- lactic acid
How Does Phexxi Compare With Other Forms Of Birth Control
Phexxi is an effective form of birth control, but it’s not as effective as some other types of contraception. “When used properly, it is not as effective as an IUD or implant. However, it can be more effective than condom use alone,” Cross says.
The company says Phexxi is 93% effective when used as directed and 86% effective with typical use . This means that with perfect use, 7% of women using it will get pregnant, and without perfect use, 14% of people using it will get pregnant, Yen says. For this reason, she does not recommend using it alone and instead suggests using it in combination with another form of birth control, such as a condom. As we mentioned earlier, be sure not to use Phexxi in combination with a vaginal ring.
“The greatest disadvantage of any non-hormonal birth control methods is a higher risk of pregnancy,” Yen says. “Why take a 14% risk when the pill, patch, or ring have only a 7% risk of failure?”
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