The history of contraceptive gels is extremely ancient. There is evidence that contraceptive gels were used as far back at 1850BC, making it one of the oldest methods of contraception. Although contraceptive gels are not the perfect birth control method, many people still use them. Some people mistakenly believe these gels can even protect them against sexually transmitted diseases.
The reasons that contraceptive gels are so popular are that they are available without prescription, relatively inexpensive and very easy use. However, there are health risks also associated with using contraceptive gels which many women are not aware of.
When women use them, they should first educate themselves on the health risks with using contraceptive gels. Once they know these risks, they will know what to do and what precautions to take against these health risks, if available.
Many women, who use contraceptive gels, are at a risk of getting urinary tract infections. In addition, there are many women and men who could be allergic to the ingredients present in the gels giving them some form of allergic reaction.
The main ingredient in most contraceptive gels is nonxynol-9, also known as N9. This ingredient is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in contraceptive gels but studies have shown that N9 can cause irritation to the skin of the penis, vulva and vagina. There is also scientific evidence to show that N8 causes sores and strips away the skin lining the vagina and rectum. This stripping away increases as a person uses more and more of the contraceptive gel. When the stripping of the skin of the vagina or rectum takes place, the person is at an increased risk of getting certain types of sexually transmitted diseases.
When contraceptive gels with N9 were first made available in the 1980s, it was believed that they prevent a person from getting sexually transmitted diseases. However, later on research showed that a person becomes more susceptible to catching diseases like gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, herpes simplex and HIV. At this point it should be added that the research was conducted in laboratories and not on humans and therefore the jury is still out.
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