nonoxynol-9 vaginal (OTC)

Brand and Other Names:Conceptrol Options, VCF, more...Gynol II Extra Strength, Encare, Today Vaginal Contraceptive

Dosing & Uses


Dosage Forms & Strengths

vaginal gel

  • 3% (Gynol II Extra Strength)
  • 4% (Conceptrol Options; VCF prefilled applicator)

vaginal foam

  • 12.5% (VCF foam)

vaginal insert

  • 100mg (Encare)

vaginal sponge

  • 1000mg (Today Vaginal Contraceptive)

vaginal film

  • 28% (VCF film)


Indicated for prevention of pregnancy; when used with a condom (foam or gel) or diaphragm (gel), efficacy is increased

Gel or foam

  • Insert one applicatorful into the vagina prior to intercourse (see complete, illustrated directions on the package insert)
  • An additional applicatorful is required prior to each act of intercourse, regardless of time since last application
  • Each applicatorful is effective immediately and up to 1 hr after application

Sponge (Today Vaginal Contraceptive)

  • Wet the sponge thoroughly with clean water, squeeze gently until sponge is very sudsy
  • With the dimple side inside, fold sponge
  • With string loop on bottom end, insert the sponge deep into the vagina (see diagram in enclosed leaflet)
  • Protection begins right away and lasts for 24 hr even with repeated acts of intercourse
  • Wait 6 hr after last intercourse before removing sponge
  • Do not leave sponge in vagina for longer than 30 hr
  • Do not reuse the sponge
  • Contact your physician if you have problems removing the sponge

Film (VCF)

  • Before using this product, read the enclosed package insert for complete directions and information
  • Be sure your fingers are dry before touching the film
  • Insert one film and place as far into the vagina as possible against the cervix
  • Insert not <15 minutes and not >3 hr before intercourse
  • Use 1 film before each act of intercourse

Not indicated


Adverse Effects

Frequency Not Defined

Burn, itching, rash, or other irritation of vagina or penis





Vaginal sponge

  • Allergy to sulfites (vaginal sponge contains metabisulfite
  • During menses
  • Within 6 wk after giving birth


When used correctly every time you have sex, latex condoms greatly reduce, but do not eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading HIV, the virus that causes AIDS

For vaginal use only

Always wait at least 6 hr after intercourse before douching to maintain vaginal contraceptive

Discontinue if burning, itching, rash, or other irritation of the vagina or penis occurs

Do not use vaginal sponge with vaginal or uterine conditions (eg vaginal septum, uterine prolapse); the product may not work optimally

Toxic shock syndrome (vaginal sponge)

  • Some cases of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) have been reported in women using barrier contraceptives, including the sponge
  • TSS is a rare, but serious disease that may cause death
  • Warning signs of TSS include fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, dizziness, faintness, or a sunburnlike rash on face or body
  • Instruct patient to remove the sponge and get medical help right away if these signs appear



Not applicable


Not distributed in human breast milk

Pregnancy Categories

A: Generally acceptable. Controlled studies in pregnant women show no evidence of fetal risk.

B: May be acceptable. Either animal studies show no risk but human studies not available or animal studies showed minor risks and human studies done and showed no risk.

C: Use with caution if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies not available or neither animal nor human studies done.

D: Use in LIFE-THREATENING emergencies when no safer drug available. Positive evidence of human fetal risk.

X: Do not use in pregnancy. Risks involved outweigh potential benefits. Safer alternatives exist.

NA: Information not available.



Mechanism of Action

Surfactant used as a vaginal spermicide; acts locally during intercourse to immobilize, inactivate, damage, and/or kill sperm



Vaginal Administration

For vaginal use only (see Adult Dosing)


Store at room temperature 20-25°C (68-77°F)

Avoid exposure to extreme hot or cold temperature



Vaginal Contraceptive Film vaginal
28 % film
Today Contraceptive Sponge vaginal
1,000 mg sponge

Copyright © 2010 First DataBank, Inc.


Patient Handout

A Patient Handout is not currently available for this monograph.
Medscape prescription drug monographs are based on FDA-approved labeling information, unless otherwise noted, combined with additional data derived from primary medical literature.