Meet Phexxi: The Newest FDA Approved Non-Hormonal Birth Control

Did you know that there are 18 FDA-approved birth control methods? On top of that, the FDA recently approved a new contraceptive called “Phexxi” and it is changing the birth control game. 

What is Phexxi?

Phexxi is a new non-hormonal vaginal birth control gel. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Phexxi last year on May 22, 2020, adding another safe and hormone-free option that prevents pregnancy.

How does Phexxi work?

During sex, the vagina’s pH levels are raised so semen can live and travel to an egg, resulting in pregnancy. Phexxi works by stabilizing the vagina’s natural pH range of 3.5 to 4.5 so the chances of the sperm reaching the egg are lessened. Phexxi stays in place in the vagina during intercourse, giving you peace of mind. 

Application is easy. Similar to a tampon applicator, the gel is inserted by using a pre-filled applicator with a 5-gram dose that connects to a plunger rod and is applied directly into the vagina. Phexxi can be applied right before, or up to an hour before penis-in-vagina sex and only used when needed. The gel is effective immediately upon application. Keep in mind that another dose of Phexxi is needed if planning to have intercourse again within another hour.

Because Phexxi is only used when having sex, you do not need to worry about any side effects during activity. It is also a great option because you may want to have a baby one day, just not now.

Phexxi only works if used before sex and does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Phexxi is 93% effective when used perfectly, however, no one is perfect, so with typical use, Phexxi is 86% effective. Phexxi can be combined with other birth control methods such as condoms, the pill, or an IUD. The only form of birth control you should not use Phexxi with is a vaginal ring.

Potential side effects from Phexxi include: 

• Vaginal irritation or discomfort

• Yeast infections

• Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

• Bacterial vaginosis

• Vaginal discharge

It is advised not to use Phexxi if you have a history of UTIs or urinary tract problems. Your partner’s penis may also experience some irritation. 

How do you get Phexxi?

Phexxi is only available with a prescription. You can get a prescription by talking to your doctor, nurse, health clinic, telehealth, or directly through the Phexxi website, phexxi.com.

Health insurance may be able to cover the cost of Phexxi or lower the cost. Talk to your local health provider or insurance provider to find out if Phexxi is covered through your insurance. Phexxi also offers a cost-saving program for those who are not enrolled in a government program insurance. Without insurance coverage, the cost of Phexxi will range from $250-$275 for one box of 12 doses, making each dose $20-$23.

Phexxi: Changing the Game

Overall, Phexxi is a great option for those who do not prefer hormonal birth control or want to have a baby in the future. It is also effective immediately upon application up to an hour before sex, so you will not have to worry about your birth control during activity.

Although Phexxi helps prevent pregnancy, it does not prevent STDs, so additional protection is needed like a condom.

Talk to your local health provider about getting prescribed Phexxi and how much it will cost. For more information, consult the official Phexxi website, phexxi.com.

Always remember that there are plenty of birth control options available (18 different methods, to be exact!) and Phexxi is a new, refreshing method that is changing the birth control game by offering a safe and non-hormonal way of preventing pregnancy. 

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