Nonoxynol-9 vaginal dosage forms

Nonoxynol-9 is a form of birth control that kills sperm. It works to prevent pregnancy. Read the instructions on the product to use it properly. This product is for vaginal use only. Apply each dose before you begin sexual contact.

What is this medication?

NONOXYNOL-9 (no NOX i nol 9) is a spermicide (kills sperm). It is used for birth control to prevent pregnancy. Some formulas of this birth control can be used along with condoms, the cervical cap, or a diaphragm; read the label of the product you have chosen.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.



Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • History of toxic-shock syndrome
  • HIV infection or AIDS
  • Pelvic or vaginal infection
  • Recent childbirth, miscarriage, or abortion
  • Sexually transmitted infection, such as herpes, gonorrhea, or chlamydia
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to nonoxynol-9, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

To prevent pregnancy, it is very important that this product be used properly. These products are used in the vagina and must be applied before sexual contact begins. Do not use in the rectum. Make sure you carefully read and follow the instructions that come with the product. Reapply prior to each episode of sexual intercourse.

If you are using nonoxynol-9 containing products with latex cervical caps, condoms, or diaphragms, make sure the product is labeled as safe for use with latex products. If not, this may cause the cervical cap, condom, or diaphragm to weaken or even break. If leakage or breakage occurs during intercourse, additional spermicide may be inserted into the vagina. Other products that can weaken latex include hand, face, or body cream; petroleum jelly; cooking oils or shortenings; and baby oil. These are oil-based products and should not be used as lubricants. Instead, use a water-based lubricant that is safe for use with cervical caps, condoms, or diaphragms.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.


What if I miss a dose?

Use before each time you have sexual intercourse as directed on the label. If you miss a dose, you may become pregnant.

What may interact with this medication?

  • Douches
  • Vaginal yeast infection creams or suppositories

This product may not work as well to prevent pregnancy if you use other vaginal products at the same time. Talk with your care team before using the products together.

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.


What should I watch for while using this medication?

This product does not protect you or your partner against HIV infection. It does not protect you or your partner against any other sexually transmitted infections.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling
  • chills
  • fever
  • irritation, itching, or burning of the sex organs that does not go away within a short period of time
  • pain in bladder or lower abdomen
  • pain on urination
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth or vagina
  • thick, white, or curd-like vaginal discharge
  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • mild irritation or feeling of warmth at site of use

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Follow the directions on the product label. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2024 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of use.

Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

Call Appointment Center 866.320.4573
Questions 216.444.2200