Contraceptive gels are also called vaginal spermicides. They are placed inside the vagina and damage sperm during and following sexual ejaculation. According to the Mayo Clinic, they are not as effective alone as they are when combined with additional birth control methods. Though the use of contraceptive gels is convenient, some side effects may occur.
Some women who use a contraceptive gel may develop a rash in the genital area. The rash will typically burn or itch and may continue to get worse if you continue using the spermicide. If you develop a rash after using a contraceptive gel, discontinue use immediately. In addition, gently wash the area and dry it so that the gel is removed from the skin. The LiveStrong website recommends calling a doctor if the rash does not disappear within a few days of discontinuing its use.
Using a contraceptive gel can increase the possibility of contracting an sexually transmitted disease, according to LiveStrong. Because the spermicide can irritate the vaginal walls and break down fluids and mucus in the vagina, sexually transmitted diseases can infiltrate and get a foothold in your body. Some people experience allergy symptoms related to their use of spermicide. In most instances, this is caused by a sensitivity to nonoxynol-9, a chemical commonly used in spermicides in the United States. Symptoms of allergy include rash, itching and burning. If you are sensitive to spermicide and use it several times a day, you increase the risk of developing open sores and irritation near your anus and vagina. The sores place you at an increased risk for contracting HIV, according to the Teen Source website.
Spermicides can make your body more prone to urinary tract infections (UTI), according to the Kids Health website. Women who use spermicide report an increase in the number of bladder infections they experience. If this happens to you, it is caused by the chemical elements in spermicide destroying the bacterial balance in your bladder. This balance disruption provides an opportunity for bacterial infections to enter the bladder and create a foundation for the UTI.
If you use a spermicide alone, without using a condom or other additional birth control method, you increase the risk of becoming pregnant according to Family Health International. There is a reported 26 percent pregnancy rate among women who use spermicide alone as their birth control method.
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