Vaginal Contraceptive Inserts
I've already written a few articles on methods of female contraception and today I'm going to add Vaginal Contraceptive Inserts to the series. As with some of the other methods, this is another birth control method which few women seem to know much about, so I've put together the basics to let women know there are other methods available to them aside from condoms and pills. Note that Vaginal Contraceptive Inserts are not a means of protection against STDs -- they only provide protect against pregnancy, which means these will probably only appeal to married women or those women in a monogamous relationship.
What is it?
Vaginal contraceptive inserts are basically just a spermicidal suppository. They come in a box of 12 or so and are individually wrapped. They're easy to carry with you if you're going on holiday or if you plan to spend the night somewhere other than your own place. They don't contain hormones (for those who might be concerned about this due to breastfeeding or other issues) and instead prevent pregnancy via Nonoxynol-9.
How do you use them?
Contraceptive suppositories are quite easy to use. You simply insert one of them vaginally and make it sure it's deposited near the cervix. You'll need to insert them 10 minutes prior to intimacy (you will need to insert additional suppositories for each bout of intimacy) and protection lasts for one hour.
How effective are they?
When used properly, vaginal suppositories are said to have about the same efficacy as The Sponge, which has about a 84% -- 87% efficacy rating. Please note that spermicidal inserts do not protect against STDs.
Where can you buy them?
The easiest, and most discreet, way to purchase spermicidal vaginal inserts is to order them online from a retailer like Amazon.com. They cost about 12 USD for pack of 12 suppositories.
Benefits of vaginal contraceptive inserts
No prescription is necessary and this type of birth control is easily controlled by a woman, which can be a source of great relief for some. You simply insert it and go about your business; no waiting for a man to find the condoms, no waiting for him to dress up. There are no hormones to worry about and no issues for those who have allergies to certain materials such as latex. You can use them on their own or with another method of birth control, such as diaphragms.
Things to keep in mind
Spermicidal vaginal inserts do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases so you should not use these unless you're sure that your partner is disease free. You need to make sure the suppository is placed as close to the cervix as possible, as the product creates a barrier between it and sperm.