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'Delfen' contraceptive foam spray, England, 1999

‘Delfen’ contraceptive foam spray is seen on the top right of the image. It is a spermicidal spray used in conjunction with a diaphragm. The spray is inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse. It destroys sperm before they reach the uterus, preventing pregnancy. Spermicides are ineffective at preventing pregnancy when used on their own. However, they increase the effectiveness of contraceptives such as condoms, caps and diaphragms. The Delfen foam spray contains an active ingredient called Nonoxynol-9. This is found in many spermicidal products. It was originally thought to protect against sexually transmitted infections such as HIV. It has since been found it may increase the risk of infection by causing tiny abrasions within the vagina. This leaves it more susceptible to infection.

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Glossary: contraception

The use of methods and techniques to prevent pregnancy from sex.

Glossary: contraceptive foam

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