Original research article| Volume 56, ISSUE 2, P103-110, August 1997

An evaluation of the amount of nonoxynol-9 remaining in the vagina up to 4 h after insertion of a vaginal contraceptive film (VCF®) containing 70 mg nonoxynol-9

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      The objectives of this study were to determine the amount of nonoxynol-9 (N-9) remaining in the vagina 30 min and 1, 1.5, 2, and 4 h after vaginal insertion of a single sheet of VCF® containing 70 mg N-9 and to compare these results to the manufacturer's instructions for use of this product. A new method of vaginal lavage was used to obtain samples for N-9 determination.
      This was an open-label, noncomparative, pharmacokinetic study in 12 healthy women volunteers not at risk for pregnancy.
      The study consisted of a screening visit followed by five test visits approximately 1 month apart and a final visit 1 week after all test visits were completed. At each test visit, the investigator inserted a single sheet of VCF in the vagina of the volunteer at midcycle. The volunteer remained in the clinic and underwent vaginal lavage with normal saline after one of five specified time intervals had elapsed. The sequence of the intervals completed by each volunteer was determined by randomization. When undissolved film was found in the vagina, it was removed prior to lavage and assayed for N-9 content separately from that recovered in lavage fluid. It was assumed that the N-9 in undissolved film would not contribute significantly to sperm immobilization.
      Between 18.5 and 28.5 mg of N-9 were recovered in lavage fluid after intervals of 0.5, 1, 1.5, and 2 h. These levels did not differ statistically (p > 0.05). The amount of N-9 recovered dropped significantly at 4 h to 11.0 mg.
      If it is assumed that an N-9 concentration of 0.100 mg/mL is required to immobilize sperm in vitro, this study suggests that the amount of N-9 remaining in the vagina in the form of dissolved film up to 4 h after insertion of VCF is sufficient to immobilize sperm. The lavage procedure may not have recovered all N-9 remaining in the vagina. However, intercourse did not take place between insertion and lavage; if it had, the proportion of the film remaining undissolved and the total amount N-9 remaining in the vagina at the time of examination might have been affected.


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