Amongst many other products, we supply ethical, natural products to help our customers with their family planning options. One of our most popular products are our range of spermicides and contraceptive gels; , ContraGel and Caya Contraceptive Gel .

Some spermicides are supplied with vaginal applicators, some are not, although applicators can also be purchased separately.

There is one frequent question regarding these applicators that pops up with our customers so frequently that we decided to share the information here, on our blog.

Do I need to buy a vaginal applicator for my spermicide?

To answer that question properly you need to understand why you are using spermicide or a contraceptive gel in the first place.

When a diaphragm or cervical cap is used as a barrier contraceptive, a contraceptive gel is also required. This helps form a better seal between the barrier and the vagina, it can 'capture' and immobilise a lot of ejaculate by sticking to it whilst it's pH or any active ingredients may also inmobilise the sperm.

Firstly, always read the instructions!

As per the manufacturer’s instructions for use with all diaphragms and cervical caps that we know of, the rules are that you apply contraceptive gel to the barrier before insertion. Once the barrier is inserted it has the gel already in place.

The same instructions that exist for all of the diaphragms and cervical caps that we are aware of on the market, state that after intercourse you should leave the barrier in place for six hours before removal, unless you intended to have intercourse a second time, when you would have to apply more contraceptive gel.

Let’s look at why that is.

Diaphragms and caps after intercourse

Leaving the barrier in place for six hours after intercourse is to allow sperm to be captured and taken out of the game by the gel before the barrier is later removed. If you removed the barrier whilst there were lots of healthy sperm swimming around in vaginal tract it would defeat the purpose of having placed the barrier there in the first place.

So after intercourse where male ejaculation is introduced, the initial application of gel is all mixed up with ejaculate and no longer effective for a second round of intercourse. More gel needs to be applied.

At this point we have bodily fluids and contraceptive gel inside the vaginal tract which introduces the ‘icky factor’. Using a syringe-like applicator to deliver more gel deep inside is an easy option. It can be done discretely, cleanly and pretty much with your eyes closed. So we should all be buying vaginal applicator then?

Well maybe not. Having worked in this field for many years we have spoken to many many Gynaecologists regarding the use of applicators for delivering a second dose of contraceptive gel. Some, who are specialists in barrier contraceptives disagree with their use.

The case against using applicators

They refer us back to the manufacturer’s instructions for use included with all diaphragms and cervical caps which state that if planning to have intercourse a second time with the barrier still in place you should do two things; apply more gel but also check that the barrier is still correctly fitted in place.

Even if you weren’t widely lashing around in fits of passion, your diaphragm or cervical cap could still have moved out of place during intercourse. It happens. How would you know unless you checked? If it’s not in the correct position it will loose it’s efficiency. How do you check? With a finger, pressing your diaphragm or cervical cap into place as normal.

The gurus of barrier contraception tell us that applying more gel to the finger is the best way to kill two birds with one stone, applying the gel where it’s needed, directly to the barrier whilst also checking that the barrier is in place. Make’s sense, right?

It actually goes a bit further than that too. From experience coaching barrier users, these gurus say that in the real world if a user has an applicator to hand for a second application of gel, the ‘icky factor’ can so easily kick in and they skip the control step of checking that the diaphragm is still in place. Since a user’s habits and behaviour can impact the contraceptive efficiency of a barrier contraceptive system, they push away from recommending the use of applicators.

There you have it, a long response to such a short question but we know that barrier contraceptive users really need to understand what they are doing and why.

Feel free to use an applicator by all means but be mindful not to skip the post coital check to see if your barrier is still correctly fitted in place.

Order These Products: