There is an urgent need for safe, effective, and acceptable vaginal barrier methods for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV, and a variety of existing spermicides have the potential to be used for both prevention of STDs and unwanted pregnancy. Unfortunately, very little is known about formulation preferences and the desirable characteristics of vaginal preparations among the diverse populations of women who would potentially use these products. In this study, we explored vaginal spermicidal preparations containing nonoxynol-9 and the characteristics that influence user preferences for three formulations, as well as the risk of vaginal and cervical irritation associated with low-to-moderate use of products containing nonoxynol-9. The report recommends that formulation preferences of women be considered in the development and introduction of vaginal microbicides: the specific characteristics of vaginal products and their effect on sexual pleasure and communication will strongly determine the acceptability—and ultimately the use-effectiveness—of female-controlled STD-prevention methods.
Coggins, Christiana, Christopher J. Elias, Ronachai Atisook, Mary T. Bassett, Virginie Ettiegne-Traore, Peter D. Ghys, Laura Jenkins-Woelk, Earmporn Thongkrajai, and Nancy L. VanDevanter. 1998. "A study of women's preferences regarding the formulation of over-the-counter vaginal spermicides," Robert H. Ebert Program on Critical Issues in Reproductive Health Publication Series. New York: Population Council.
Robert H. Ebert Program on Critical Issues in Reproductive Health