Phexxi is a new to the market birth control option that is hormone free. This contraceptive gel is put into the vagina before sexual intercourse occurs, which then lowers the pH of the vagina inhibiting the movement ability and action of the sperm. This action thusly lessens the chance of the sperm reaching and fertilizing an egg.
Phexxi is listed as being 93% effective when used correctly but is also listed to state that mistakes are easy to make, thusly making a more definitive 86% effective rate. In simple terms, roughly fourteen out of every hundred patients will get pregnant of Phexxi. It is imperative that the instructions are closely followed each and every time Phexxi is used.
Many specialists push their patients to use multiple types of birth control when using Phexxi, including condoms, internal condoms, a diaphragm, or using the withdrawal method. Phexxi can also be used with hormonal birth controls like the pill or the patch but should never be used with any vaginal rings (like NuvaRing).
Phexxi does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections. Using condoms and extra protection, along with being tested regularly for STIs, can help to control any issues that arise.
How is Phexxi used?
This birth control comes in pre-filled applicators, and one full applicator is used each time you have penis-in-vagina intercourse. Inserting the applicator is much like inserting a tampon. It should be inserted into the vagina an hour before you plan to have intercourse and will stay in place in the vagina during sex.
Phexxi will work for one hour, so if you plan to have more than one round of intercourse, you will need to use a new, full applicator every time you have sex. If more than one hour passes before you have sex, you will need to use another full applicator. Phexxi will not work if used after intercourse. Phexxi is also safe to use during your menstrual period.
It is safe to use condoms with Phexxi, in fact, it is recommended.
Keep any unopened or unused applicators in their original foil package, at room temperature, in a dry place away from heat.
If you believe you are pregnant, do not use Phexxi. If you are breastfeeding or plan to be, please discuss this with your doctor before using.
It is also safe to use with many over the counter vaginal yeast infection medications. If you have questions about this, do not hesitate to speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How can I get Phexxi?
Phexxi is available by prescription only, meaning you will need to make an appointment with your doctor. Many health offices like health clinics or Planned Parenthood locations can also prescribe this medication. In some states, certain Pharmacists may be able to write and dispense this medication.
Are there benefits of using Phexxi?
Much like spermicide gel, Phexxi is a non-hormonal birth control which gives those patients who cannot take hormonal birth controls an option. One difference is that Phexxi does not have nonoxynol-9 in it, so does not increase the risk of STIs.
Another benefit of Phexxi is that it can be used on the spot, without having to remember to take it each day, or at certain times. The insertion of Phexxi could be included in part of your sexual routine, or foreplay with your partner.
Are there disadvantages of using Phexxi?
The disadvantage of Phexxi is that it must be used correctly, precisely an hour before you plan to have penis-in-vagina sex. If you are not sure if you can use it every time you have sex, you may want to consider another form of birth control to use that do not require additional steps, pills, or timed dosage like IUDs or implants.
The most common side effects of using Phexxi are:
- Yeast infections
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Burning and itching
- Irritation or discomfort inside of the vagina
- Urinary tract infection
- Vaginal discharge
If you suffer from frequent or severe urinary tract infections, or have any other unusual UTI issues, you should not use Phexxi.
Phexxi has also been noted to irritate the inserted penis. If soreness or irritation occurs in the genitals after intercourse, this may indicate that you or your partner have a sensitivity to Phexxi and may need to stop its use.
Signs of an allergic reaction to this birth control include:
- Flushing of the skin
- Shortness of breath
- Low blood pressure
- Loss of consciousness
If you or your partner experience any of these symptoms, stop using Phexxi, and call your doctor immediately.
If you have any other questions about Phexxi, do not hesitate to contact your doctor, pharmacist, or reach out to the Phexxi manufacturers.