By Anna Spoelhof, FNP
Laurie Birkholz, MD, and Associates
There is now a new, FDA approved, hormone-free birth control called Phexxi. Phexxi is a prescription vaginal gel used to prevent pregnancy in women who choose to use an on-demand method of birth control. It is effective when used immediately (or up to one hour) before vaginal intercourse, and is designed to be used in the moment when —and only when—you want it!
How does Phexxi work?
Vaginal pH level is inhospitable to sperm. When semen enters the vagina, the pH level is increased to help sperm survive. Phexxi works to maintain vaginal pH, which reduces the sperm’s mobility, lowering the chance of sperm reaching the egg. The vaginal gel is composed of lactic acid, citric acid, & potassium bitartrate. You can use Phexxi with other contraceptive methods such as condoms or hormonal contraceptives.
How do I use Phexxi?
Phexxi comes in an easy-to-use, prefilled applicator, about the same size of a tampon. Insert the applicator, like a tampon, shortly before having sex. The gel is not sticky and does not leak.
Bonus: the gel acts as a lubricant for additional comfort
What are possible side effects?
The most common side effects are mild – vaginal burning, vaginal itching, vaginal yeast infection, urinary tract infection, vaginal area discomfort, bacterial vaginosis, & vaginal discharge. Phexxi has NOT been associated with side effects such as blood clots or stroke.
What else should I know about using Phexxi?
Phexxi does not protect against any sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Avoid using Phexxi with a vaginal ring.
Here at LBMD & Associates, we are excited to offer new & evidence-based products. Remember – knowledge is power, and when it comes to your healthcare, the more you know, the better.
If you have more questions about Phexxi or other forms of contraception, give us a call at 616-345-5263 to schedule an appointment.