Gygel: UK's #1 Nonoxynol-9 Based Spermicide
So you've decided to use a reusable barrier contraceptive. Probably a diaphragm, maybe a FemCap or perhaps a Caya diaphragm. All of these are only half of the solution though, they all need to be used in conjunction with a spermicide or barrier gel. Gygel is the UK's number one spermicide and is available on prescription from the NHS.
Gygel contains 2% of the active chemical ingredient nonoxynol-9. The gel is applied in the dome and around the edges of your barrier contraceptive to help perfect the seal provided by the barrier device whilst additionally killing the sperm.
Gygel is colorless, orderless, and will not stain.
Gygel is effective when used in conjunction with barrier method of contraception such diaphragms or FemCap. When used together with these methods, the gel is effective on two levels.
First, the sticky consistency seals any gaps or cracks and provides additional suction to the barrier. Second, the chemical effect on sperm adds another layer of contraceptive protection, creating a safety net if any sperm should attempt to bypass the barrier.
Spread 3ml of Gygel in the dome of and around the rim of your diaphragm or FemCap. Insert the barrier, making sure that the tip of the cervix is sitting in the gel. Do not remove your diaphragm for at least six to eight hours after having sex, and in the case of additional acts of intercourse, make sure to re-apply Gygel using a vaginal applicator.
Questions and Answers
The questions compiled below are in no way a substitute to reading the Gygel manufactures instructions or the manufactures instructions you received with your diaphragm, Caya, or FemCap.
Are there any hormones in Gygel?
No. Gygel is 100% hormone-free. It is also referred to as an "instantly reversible form contraception" because the contraception is only effective for one instance of intercourse and does not have any effect on further acts of intercourse. This gives you the power to keep choosing to use contraception, or to cease using contraception, each time you have sex.
Do I need a prescription in order to buy Gygel?
No. To purchase Gygel from in the UK, no prescription is needed. Gygel is an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine.
However, it must be used as part of a barrier contraceptive method, and not as birth control on its own. Diaphragms do require a prescription because precise sizing is critical for effectiveness. FemCap and Caya diaphragms do not need to be sized and therefore do not need a prescription.
Are there alternative Nonoxynol-9 spermicides available in the UK?
No. There are currently no other spermicidal contraceptive gels containing N-9 available in the UK. ContraGel is the natural spermicide allterntive and is 100% N-9 free.
What side effects are associated with Gygel?
Side effects of Gygel can affect both the male and female partner. The most commonly reported side effects are irritation, burning, or itchiness of the vagina or penis. An increase in urinary tract infections and yeast infections in women can also often be traced to spermicide use.
Is there an alternative to Gygel that will allow me to keep using my barrier contraceptive if I am experiencing side effects from the spermicide?
Yes. ContraGel is the perfect solution for those experiencing side effects from Nonoxynol-9 spermicides.
Can I use Gygel if I'm pregnant?
If you are already pregnant there is no point in using Gygel; using it is not recommended. You should always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy before using any medication, including Gygel.
Can I use this spermicide if I'm breastfeeding?
There is no reason not to use spermicide while breastfeeding. Many women choose to avoid hormones while they are breastfeeding, and spermicide is often part of a non-hormonal birth control solution While Gygel is probably a safe choice, no studies have been conducted regarding the safety or effectiveness of using Gygel while breastfeeding. Always seek medical advice from your doctor or midwife, or look into the natural spermicide alternative Contragel.
Can I use Gygel if I'm taking other medications?
Yes, spermicide is not known to affect other medication.
Should I use Gygel every time I have intercourse, throughout my cycle?