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J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2014 Jan;36(1):42-50. doi: 10.1016/S1701-2163(15)30682-4.

Universal vaginal applicator for the uniform distribution of vaginal gel and cream formulations: a magnetic resonance imaging study.

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Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie de l'Université Laval, Quebec QC.
Département de Radiologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université Laval, Quebec QC.


in English, French


Conventional vaginal applicators with a single apical hole do not distribute vaginal formulations homogenously and do not cover the entire vaginal and cervical mucosa. To overcome this problem and offer women further protection against vaginal infections, we designed a unique vaginal applicator with multiple apical and lateral holes. We have previously shown that the new applicator distributes an investigational vaginal gel homogenously over the entire vaginal and cervical mucosa. In this study, we investigated (using MRI) whether the new applicator works as well with marketed vaginal gels and creams.


Eighteen women participated in the study and six vaginal gels and creams were tested. Each woman used a marketed vaginal product with its own commercial applicator (CA) once and with our universal vaginal applicator (UVA) once to deliver the same product. The applications were separated by a one-week period. Pelvic MRI was performed immediately after vaginal application to evaluate the product's distribution and mucosal coverage.


Immediately after application of the vaginal product, the UVA homogenously distributed the six products (3 gels and 3 creams) over the entire vaginal and cervical mucosa. On the other hand, the tested CA delivered four products (3 gels and 1 cream) mainly to the cervix and the upper vagina, but not to the mid and lower vagina; for the other two creams, the distribution was similar to that of UVA. Furthermore, the UVA received the highest acceptability score.


The UVA can be used to deliver different vaginal gel and cream products homogenously throughout the vagina. This was the first time the UVA had been tested with marketed vaginal gels and creams. This applicator, giving uniform mucosal coverage and being highly acceptable, may help women to better protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections.


MRI; distribution; vaginal applicator; vaginal cream; vaginal gel

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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