As a doctor, one of the concerns that patients often express regarding nonoxynol-9 is how long they need to take it to prevent reversal. Nonoxynol-9 is a type of contraceptive that is used in various forms including gels, creams, and lubricants. In this article, we will discuss the duration for which nonoxynol-9 should be used to prevent reversal.


How Long Should Nonoxynol-9 be Taken to Prevent Reversal?

Nonoxynol-9 is commonly used as a spermicide and contraceptive in various forms. It works by preventing sperm from entering the cervix by breaking down its protective barrier. An unexpected consequence of this substance is that it can also damage the vaginal epithelium and increase the risk of HIV transmission. Therefore, it is not recommended for use as a sole method of contraception but can be used in combination with other methods.

Duration of Use

The duration for which nonoxynol-9 should be used to prevent reversal depends on the specific product being used. Different products have varying recommended durations of use. For example, when using a nonoxynol-9 vaginal contraceptive film, the film should be inserted into the vagina immediately before sexual intercourse and should be left in for up to three hours. For nonoxynol-9 gels and creams, the product should be applied to the inside of the vagina no more than 60 minutes before sexual intercourse but should not be left in the vagina for more than an hour following intercourse.

It is important to follow the instructions on the product and use nonoxynol-9 as directed. Overuse of nonoxynol-9 can damage vaginal tissues and increase the risk of HIV transmission. Additionally, nonoxynol-9 should not be relied upon as the sole method of contraception.

Side Effects

Like all medications, nonoxynol-9 can cause side effects. Some of the most common side effects include vaginal burning, itching, and irritation. In rare cases, nonoxynol-9 can cause an allergic reaction. If you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as hives or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.


1. Can nonoxynol-9 protect against STIs?

No. Nonoxynol-9 is not effective in preventing sexually transmitted infections.

2. Can nonoxynol-9 be used during menstruation?

Nonoxynol-9 can be used during menstruation, but it is not always efficient in preventing pregnancy at this time.

3. Can nonoxynol-9 be used for anal intercourse?

No. Nonoxynol-9 is not recommended for anal intercourse as it may cause irritation and damage to the rectal tissues.

4. How long does the effect of nonoxynol-9 last?

The effects of nonoxynol-9 last only for a short period before wearing off. Therefore, it is essential to use it whenever necessary or before sexual intercourse.

5. Can nonoxynol-9 be used during pregnancy?

No. Nonoxynol-9 should not be used during pregnancy and is not recommended for women who are breastfeeding.

In conclusion, nonoxynol-9 is an effective contraceptive. However, it is important to use the product as directed and not rely on it as the sole method of contraception. Additionally, nonoxynol-9 is not effective against sexually transmitted infections, and its use can cause side effects such as vaginal irritation. If you have any concerns or questions about using nonoxynol-9, speak to your healthcare provider.