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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1980;18(5):340-4.

Nonprescription vaginal contraception.


Data on the efficacy of vaginal contraceptive suppositories and foams available in the United States are reviewed, and data on a new vaginal contraceptive, the Collatex sponge, is presented. The efficacy of this device appears to be similar to that of the diaphragm.


This article examined data concerning the safety and efficacy of those spermicidal foams and suppositories available in the U.S. Also presented was data on the Collatex sponge, a newly developed vaginal contraceptive. No spermicidal foaming tablets are commercially available in the U.S.; however, there are 3 melting suppositories (Encare Oval, Semicid, S'positive) available which use the spermicide nonoxynol-9. There is little data available on their efficacy but available data do indicate high rates of efficacy. Both foam and suppositories are considered a safe method of contraception; studies on their use have failed to report rates of adverse reactions to the user or her partner. Furthermore, epidemiologic evidence suggests that the users of barrier contraceptive methods may be at lower risk for cervical gonorrhea compared to IUD and orals users. The Collatex sponge is made of polyurethane and incorporates the spermicide nonoxynol-9. Extensive clinical trials are presently being conducted at the International Fertility Research Program to evaluate the sponge. Current evaluative data indicate that the 382 users of the Collatex sponge experienced a 6-month pregnancy rate of 3.8 + or - 1.3/100 women or a Pearl Index of 7.5 pregnancies/100 women-years. It acts as a carrier for the spermicide and is itself an effective barrier to sperm. Its advangage over the other barrier methods are: 1) a new sponge does not have to be inserted after each act; 2) the spermicide is available immediately after insertion of the sponge; and 3) it is not messy. On the negative side, the sponge does sometimes cause discomfort to the woman's partner.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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