Looking For a New Birth Control Method Without Hormones?

Well, PHEXXI is ph-inally here!  In May of this year, the FDA approved a new hormone free birth control, called PHEXXI, which became available in pharmacies in September 2020.  And yes, it does not contain any hormones!

Great news for all of the Amazing Over 40 (and late 30’s women!) who are looking for a method that doesn’t involve taking a pill, inserting a hormone containing a vaginal ring or rod into your arm, or inserting an IUD into the uterus.  Plus, it’s very effective – approximately 93% effective if used as directed.

Why is this important for our amazing women?

Approximately 50% of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended, although this number has been declining over the past few years. 

The largest population accounting for these unintended pregnancies occurred in teenage women, followed by perimenopausal women.  This may sound surprising but given that cycles become increasingly irregular with the onset of perimenopause, many women think that they are unable to get pregnant. (1)

Let’s review – perimenopausal is the period of time, approximately 2-8 years, before the onset of menopause, which is defined as 12 consecutive months without a menstrual cycle.  Although cycles during the perimenopausal time may be irregular, women may still be ovulating some months, thus allowing pregnancy to occur.

And many women, approximately 47%, discontinue a method of contraception because they are dissatisfied with it.  

That’s why this new form is so ph-antastic!  

It’s used right before you have sex – meaning vaginal intercourse, in this case.  Up to one hour before sex, a vaginal applicator is inserted.  It has to be inserted within one hour otherwise, it won’t be effective.  If you’re really having a frisky night, another new applicator needs to be inserted before each additional act of vaginal intercourse.

How does it work?

It works with a woman’s vaginal pH.  In our vaginas, there is a microbiome of bacteria, especially Lactobacilli, which help to keep the vaginal pH around 3.5 – 4.5 on the pH scale.  When you get a yeast infection or other type of vaginal infection, like bacterial vaginosis (also known as BV), the vaginal pH changes to become 4.5 – 5.5, because the good bacteria, Lactobacilli, are overtaken by yeast (fungal infections) or other bacteria, such as Gardnerella and Atopium.

A man’s ejaculate contains sperm, as well as neutralizing agents, which makes the vaginal pH more alkaline (higher pH).  Sperm don’t like an acidic pH – they can’t survive and swim up through the cervix into the uterus to meet the ovulated egg in the fallopian tube, where fertilization occurs.  This is what makes PHEXXI so effective.

Phexxi is the first and only used-in-the-moment bioadhesive vaginal gel that works to maintain the acidic pH in the presence of semen. Clinical trials have shown it to be up to 93% effective when used as directed. 

Can PHEXXI be used with condoms?  

Yes!  Condoms are encouraged for use in all women to help prevent STI (sexually transmitted infections) like gonorrhea, chlamydia or HIV.  Condom use does not affect the efficacy of PHEXXI.

Where do I get PHEXXI?

Contact your healthcare provider or visit www.phexxi.com to speak with a health care practitioner.  Your first prescription is FREE!  Yes, $0 copay for your first prescription of 12 vaginal applicators.  Remember - one applicator needs to be used within one hour of vaginal intercourse.  Another vaginal applicator needs to be inserted before any further acts of vaginal intercourse.

For more information about PHEXXI., please click HERE.

Stay amazing and informed!

In health and happiness,
- Dr. Diana

 

Citations;

https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/factsheet/fb-unintended-pregnancy-us.pdf