Vaginal Contraceptive Film (VCF)

There are a number of contraceptives geared toward women these days, and the Vaginal Contraceptive Film is one of them. Despite it having been around for quite awhile now, few women seem familiar with it, and that's why I'm writing this article. Not only is it affordable and available without a prescription, it's also very easy to use. It is not, however, as effective as using condoms or pills, so be sure to consider the risks before using them.

What is the vaginal contraceptive film?

The VCF is an uber-thin film that contains 28% Nonoxynol-9 spermicide. The film itself essentially "dissolves" after being inserted into the vagina, leaving only the spermicide behind. It doesn't contain any hormones, which makes it more appealing to women who don't want to use The Pill or other contraceptives that can disrupt the body's natural hormonal balance.

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How do you use it?

Like I said, the vaginal contraceptive film is meant to be inserted into the vagina prior to intimate relations -- you don't use these after the fact, you use them beforehand. You insert one VCF and then give it 15 minutes to melt. If you're intimate more than once, you need to be sure you use a new VCF each time, just as you would do with a male condom. The VCF works for up to 3 hours after insertion and does not require any sort of removal or special cleaning process afterward.

Where can you buy them?

The VCF with Nonoxynol-9 is available over the counter -- a doctor's prescription is not needed. You can buy the vaginal contraceptive film at your local drugstore or, if you prefer to shop in private, you can buy them online at sites like Amazon.com. They come in packs of 12 or so and they cost about one dollar per VCF. (12 bucks for a box of 12 VCFs)

How effective are they?

When used properly, they have about a 74% -- 94% efficacy rating. Note that I said when used properly; if you don't use them properly, that makes them far less effective. Therefore, if you use them, be sure you follow the directions carefully.

Also note that the VCF does not protect against STDs.

Complications or adverse reactions

It's worth mentioning that some women are allergic to Nonoxynol-9 but don't realize it. If you experience a burning sensation or itching sensation, this is probably the case and you should discontinue use immediately.

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