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Birth Control Health Center

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What Is Vaginal Contraceptive Film?

Vaginal contraceptive film is a paper-thin film that has a spermicide in it. A woman can place it in her vagina on or near the cervix (the entrance to the uterus), where the film dissolves in seconds. The spermicide in it works for about an hour.

You should wait at least 15 minutes after inserting the film before having sex. And you must use a new film each time you have intercourse.

Recommended Related to Birth Control

Plan B One-Step

Plan B One-Step is a type of emergency contraception. This is birth control that can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. People sometimes call it the "morning after pill." But you don't have to wait until the morning after sex to take it. In fact, Plan B is more effective the sooner you take it. It is a one-dose regimen: you take one pill. The pill contains 1.5 milligrams of levonorgestrel, which is used in lower doses in many birth control pills.

Read the Plan B One-Step article > >

How Effective Is It?

As long as you use the film consistently -- and the right way -- it’s 74%-94% effective. That means that out of 100 women who rely on it alone, six to 26 will get pregnant in a typical year.

If the man also wears a condom, that helps prevent pregnancy. Together, spermicides (like that in the film) and condoms are about 97% effective.

Where Can I Get Vaginal Contraceptive Film?

It’s available without a prescription in most drugstores.

Does It Protect Against Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

No. The male condom provides the best protection from most STDs.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH on August 11, 2014

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