ContraGel Green & CayaGel FAQs

Here you can find frequently asked questions regarding ContraGel Green. This is for information purposes only and is in no way a substitute for reading the manufacturer's instructions thoroughly before beginning to use ContraGel Green.

YES, I post to the US. I post anywhere in the world! My system may reject international addresses. Clarify your address in the Comments section with your order. International Air Mail costs $10.

Q: I'd like to order three tubes of ContraGel - I don't know why it says ContraGel or Caya Gel! I've never used Caya Gel and would rather stick with what I know!

A: Perfect! Caya Gel is the same, just repackaged with an applicator that I don't recommend. I send Contragel Green by default.

Q: Also, do I need to be concerned with the temperature that the gel is kept at during the mailing process? It's pretty cold here in PA right now!

A: Your parcel will spend most of its time in postal facilities and trucks. Temperature changes should not be a problem. If your gel ever stops being a gel and becomes watery though, that's a problem. Contact me in that case!

Q: One more question: does the ContraGel really expire after three months?

A: The manufacturer recommends that you use it up within three months of opening. This is because once it is opened germs from your hands can afffect it. It is the same for all contraceptive and lubricant gels.

That seems like such a short shelf life, but I don't want to take chances! :)

A: The shelf life is one year or more. You can see the date printed on the box. Shelf life means how long it should be on the shelf before it is sold for use. So Contragel is just like other contraceptive gels in its shelf life.

Do people use Contra Gel with condoms in lieu of those that come lubricated with N-9 spermicides? Can you share any testimonials about its use in this manner?

Yes, people do. My brochure and website quote happy users of Contragel with condoms, diaphagms and cervical caps.

If I decided to try the FemCap, how would I know that the fit would be right for me? All of the US information seems to suggest that it must be fit by a professional and that supervision of the first insertion/removal is advised.

I have a professional relationship with the developer of FemCap. The FemCap was designed to be fitted by a woman herself based on her child bearing story. The hormonal contraceptive lobby convinced the FDA that a "fitting" and "follow up" visit to a practitioner was necessary. This US only requirement adds $500 to the cost of the Fem Cap unnecessarily. It is no more difficult to fit and use for most women than an over-the-counter contraceptive sponge. In fact, in Canada it is an over-the-counter Health Canada approved medical device. If you are in Toronto, I suggest you come in to pick yours up to receive the included consultation with me. If you are not in Toronto, please email me with any questions any time.

What can you tell me about the potential for coverage by my health insurance plan/what information I would need? From what I can tell, my plan requires a prescription for anything it would consider covering.

Your insurance co will likely pay for your initial contraceptive "kit". I have not heard of any refusals of coverage. I will provide you with the required signed and dated receipt to submit.

Q: Does ContraGel Work Like a Spermicide?

A: Yes, but it cannot be called a spermicide in the United States. Medical descriptions of spermicides state that products must contain Nonoxynol-9, the active chemical component, in order to be considered a spermicide. ContraGel fortunately does not contain Nonoxynol-9, so it is not considered a spermicide in the traditional description. It does, however, perform the same role as spermicide and gives results which equal or exceed the efficiency of tradional spermicide.

Q: I read in the FAQ's that Contragel doesn't actually kill the sperm, but that the substance itself is what immobilizes the sperm. Does this mean that simply using a water based lubricant jelly would do the same trick? I would like to order Contragel but I'd really rather not have to keep ordering it, since I cannot find a place near me that sells it. Also, I will be using my Femcap WITH condoms that have spermicial lubricant on them... do you think those, combined with a Femcap + KY Jelly is effective?

Sorry for all of the questions, you just seem like you would be able to advise me, and I wasn't able to get any answers from the doctor.

Thank you so much for any information you can give me!

A: Nonoxynol-9 is a detergent that harms the cell walls of the vagina, causes irritation and chronic infection and doubles the risk of STI infection. Many condom manufacturers stopped using it when a study found it doubled HIV infection rates in women. I would never, ever recommend using it. To learn more about the serious safety concerns with nonoxynol-9, go here: http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/1341

The FDA says that only N-9 can be called a spermicide. However, in European studies and lab tests, Contragel Green's lactic acid has been shown to kill sperm. So the function of the gel is to first trap, then kill the sperm.

The Fem Cap MUST be used with a contraceptive gel to achieve its effectiveness as a contraceptive.

Conventional lubricants can be quite harmful, so again, I don't recommend them unless you screen the ingredients first through the Cosmetic Safety Database. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/search.php?query=lubricant&h=Go

For more info please read:
http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/519

One of the reasons I started NaturalContraception.ca was because of women like you who cannot find consistent accurate info about, and affordable access to, natural contraceptives. Some of my clients support me expressly because they appreciate that a Certified Natural Health Practitioner can counsel them as opposed to going to pharmacies and big box stores that do not have the info or experience.

I do hope you find the best contraceptive solution for you, and that you can help spread the word about what I offer.

Q: What Is Nonoxynol 9 exactly?

A: According to Wikipedia (April 2010) "Nonoxynol-9, sometimes abbreviated as N-9, is an organic compound that is used as a surfactant. It is a member of the nonoxynol family of nonionic surfactants. N-9 and related compounds are ingredients in various cleaning and cosmetic products. It is widely-used in contraceptives for its spermicidal properties. However, its use is controversial because it may cause genital lesions."

The genital lesions mentioned happen from N-9's abrasive qualities (which incidentily make it ideal for cleaning agents). The abrasions within the vagina can cause irritation and can also damage skin cells, which can increase the risk of transmitting diseases such as HIV. From 1996 to 2000, a UN-sponsored study carried out in several locations in Africa followed nearly 1000 sex workers who used Nonoxynol-9 gels or a placebo. The HIV infection rate among those using Nonoxynol-9 was about 50% higher than those who used the placebo; those using Nonoxynol-9 also had a higher incidence of vaginal lesions, which may have contributed to this increased risk.

Some cases of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) have been reported in women using Nonoxynol 9. TSS is an uncommon, but serious disease that can result in death.

ContraGel entered the market to offer women a safe alternative to the risks and side effects of Nonoxynol 9.

Q: What are the side effects of nonoxynol-9?

A: To summarize from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonoxynol-9

From 1996 to 2000, a UN-sponsored study conducted in several locations in Africa followed nearly 1,000 sex workers who used nonoxynol-9 gels or a placebo. The HIV infection rate among those using nonoxynol-9 was about 50% higher than those who used the placebo; those using nonoxynol-9 also had a higher incidence of vaginal lesions, which may have contributed to this increased risk. Whereas these results may not be directly applicable to lower-frequency use, these findings combined with lack of any demonstrated HIV-prevention benefit from nonoxynol-9 use have led most major health agencies to recommend that it no longer be used by women at high risk of HIV infection. The WHO further notes that "Nonoxynol-9 offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia."[2]

Regular use of nonoxynol-9 appears also to increase the risk of infection with sexually transmitted human papillomaviruses (HPVs) that can cause cervical cancer.[3][4] In one of the studies, researchers at the National Cancer Institute also reported that the increased likelihood of HPV infection caused by N-9 was mitigated through the use of carrageenan-based lubricants mixed 1:1 with N-9. Two consumer products containing carrageenan, Divine 9 and BIOglide, prevented detectable HPV infection in the study.

Q: Does ContraGel Actually Kill Sperm?

A: Contragel uses a base of Lactic Acid, just like lemon from natural fruit trees. The pH value of lemon is very low and this reduces the pH of the sperm, which in turn inhibits their activity and shortly afterwards kills them.

ContraGel does not rely on killing sperm on contact because it doesn't need to. One of the properties of a spermicidal gel is that it's a gel, a sticky substance which sperm simply can not travel through. It's a barrier to capture and retain the sperm. A diaphragm or cervical cap can not form an absolute seal on their own so a gel substance is needed to complete the physical barrier. For this reason the chemical content of the barrier is not so important.

Q: Does ContraGel Cause Skin Irritations?

A: I've never had a client report any irritation! Each person is unique and our bodies react differently to each other. There is no guarantee that any user won't experience an adverse reaction to ContraGel's natural ingredients just like there is no guarentee that nobody will ever have a reaction to lemons. What medical studies do show us is that spermicides containing Nonoxynol 9 cause a high rate of reactions in users. If you are concerned for any reason before using ContraGel for the first time we recommend applying a small amount to the skin as a test to see if you have any type of adverse reaction. If you have a special skin condition discuss ContraGel with your dermatologyst before using it.

And remember, your partner's skin will come in contact with the gel so make sure you tell him you're using it in case he would like to test it on his skin first too.

Q: Can I use ContraGel With My FemCap?

A: ContraGel is water soluble, which means it’s safe to use with natural latex rubber or polyurethane condoms as well as latex or silicon rubber diaphragms and cervical caps. Lots of our users use FemCap with ContraGel because it works together perfectly!

Q: Why Are Spermicides Banned in Other Countries?

A: In some countries around the world, 'traditional' spermicides, those which contain Nonoxynol 9 (classed as a drug), are no longer distributed. This isn't because of them being banned per-se, it's more a fact of them simply not being licensed for medical prescription. This is typically due to a government policy aiming to promote forms of hormonal contraception which can be cheaper for the government in question and more profitable for pharmacutical companies.

Q: Has ContraGel Been Medically Approved?

A: ContraGel is not classed as a 'drug' for licensing purposes but a Class IIa medical device. It is approved by Health Canada. It is approved by the European Union as such with the CE0124 approval mark. This makes it available 'over the counter', without the need for a prescription.

Q: Can I Get a Prescription for ContraGel?

A: ContraGel is not available by prescription in any country that we are aware of because it is available over-the-counter. We understand that many insurance companies and HMO's will cover the cost if contraception is a provision of your policy.

Q: Can I Use ContraGel By Itself?

A: Absolutely not! ContraGel is designed to be used along with a diaphragm or cervical cap. It can also be used as a lubricant with condoms to give an element of protection if the condom splits but it must never be used on its own.

Q: Who is the Manufacturer of ContraGel?

A: ContraGel was first manufactured by the Dutch Family Planning Association (NVSH) from 1972 until 2003 under the name Contracep Green. It has been bought back into production through consumer demand by DeltaMed GmbH, a German based ISO 13458 Certified manufacturer under the new brand name of ContraGel Green.

Q: Could Live Sperm Enter When I Remove My Diaphragm?

A: Diaphragm and cervical cap manufacturers usually suggest their product be coated in a spermicidal gel and also left in place for several hours after intercourse. Correct usage would leave the opening of the cervix with a coating of Contragel which is a viscous gel from which sperm can not escape. The scenario described would involve sperm entering the ectocervix after intercourse but this couldn't happen since there would be no force of ejaculation to push the sperm inside. Any locomotion of sperm at that moment would have involved it coming into contact with the gel. The moment there is contact the sperm are imobilised and rapidly begin to die with the pH change induced from the gel. Therefore at the moment of removing the diaphragm the sperm would have been in imobilised the gel for several hours!

Q: How Did ContraGel Score on the Pearl Index?

A: There is no Pearl index for ContraGel because it isn't technically a contraceptive method. It is used with a barrier method such as condoms, diaphragms or cervical caps. As with all barrier methods, studies consistantly show that the failiure rate is always influenced by incorrect usage by the user. This happens so often that different reliability rates are published, one with perfect or correct usage and one for incorrect usage. This has more impact than the brand of spermicide chosen.

Q: Should I use ContraGel Every Day of My Cycle?

A: ContraGel shouldn't be used whilst you are menstruating. However it should be remembered that intercourse only has the risk of pregnancy for about 6 days per cycle during your Fertility Window. A healthy egg is only fertilisable for 18-24 hours and sperm can't survive for more than 5 days inside of you so that span of 6 day (5 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation) are really the only time when barrier contraception needs to be used for pregnancy protection.

Q: How Can I Buy ContraGel?

A: ContraGel can be bought from us here on this website.
http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/519

Comments

#1 traceytf : Contragel Green Testimonials

Debby:

“The studies conducted about N-9 were really alarming and I was looking for an alternative...so happy I found your site!"

Erin:

"I use ContraGel with a diaphragm. I switched from Nonoxynol 9 based spermicide because of a desire to use more natural products. I have been very diligent about food that I eat as well as beauty products being natural for the last few years. It didn’t make sense to be using such unnatural chemicals inside my body. Thank you for offering this product."

Tazia:

"I got an Ortho-diaphragm a few months ago while living in New Zealand and could not find any spermicide for it. I found out that it had been difficult to find anymore. I joined a Yahoo group that was for women interested in diaphragms and Femcaps and heard about ContraGel through the discussions on spermicides and alternatives and that it was possible to order online."

Michelle:

"I have awful reactions to regular spermicide and after one too many visits for meds I was desperate to find something. I’m so happy to have found a new natural alternative."

Martina:

"Nonoxynol-9 is obnoxious! It was absolutely unbelievable to me that there weren't other options available..."

Tala:

"I tried to get a diaphragm here in Canada and found out that they, along with spermicide have been discontinued in Canada. My boyfriend is allergic, and I found out there is a risk of genital lesions too and so that's how I stumbled on Contragel. I was shocked that none of the health professionals I consulted with or got my fitting done with knew about Contragel."

CJ:

"I found out about Contragel after doing much research into natural BC methods. I've decided to opt for the diaphragm along with NFP and wanted a safe spermicide. I found various forums where people recommend it and it is promoted on the Yahoo group "DiaphragmsandCaps". They actually order via a gynaecologist in Harley Street who orders from Germany in 100ml tubes. They call theirs Femprotect which I believe is slightly different but essentially the same idea (Lactic acid-based). I found your website and decided to order from you as it worked out better value by the ml!"

Megan:

“I’m extremely sensitive and anything with lots of chemicals always causes rashes, so regular spermicide is completely out of the question for me. I’d been wanting to use FemCap for a while and finally can now with ContraGel!”

Patricia:

"We've all got to go natural at some point...."

Brin :

"For several months, I have been researching alternative forms of birth control that do not involve pills, shots, or surgery. The Femcap plus the Contragel is just what I was looking for. It's a real pity that doctors don't take the time to do research regarding current forms of birth control for women; all they seem to want to do is prescribe the pill and send me on my way. My mother died of breast cancer and my father died of a heart attack. Therefore, the pill and other forms of hormonal birth control aren’t a good idea. Thank you again for making these products available to informed consumers!"