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Advantage S is a spermicide, meaning it’s specially formulated to immobilize and essentially kill sperm before they’re able to reach the egg to fertilize it. It’s applied vaginally and should be used before every sexual encounter for maximum effectiveness. We currently do not offer Advantage S, but feel free to read our expert FAQ answers below or to reach out to our team to learn how you can get your first birth control pill pack for only $15 or free with insurance.
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How Effective Is Advantage S?
Spermicides are pretty effective on their own with typical use, around 70 percent to 80 percent. Effectiveness can be increased to around 97 percent when used alongside other methods such as cervical caps, emergency contraception, diaphragms, and oral contraceptives. Combining Advantage S with barrier methods is typically the most effective route. It’s also important to remember not to use it if the expiration date has passed as that could mean it won’t work as well.
Are There Any Risks?
Side effects are rare, but as with other spermicides, Advantage S carries a slight risk of vaginal irritation. Likewise, your partner may also experience some soreness or irritation, and you may develop an allergic reaction, such as itching, burning, or dryness. Less common risks include urinary tract infections, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, contact dermatitis, and inflammation. Because it can cause irritation, there is also a chance of contracting STIs more easily if your partner is infected. For that reason, it’s generally recommended to be used in combination with condoms.
How Does Advantage S Work?
Because the active ingredient is an organic compound called nonoxynol-9, Advantage S works as a surfactant. This means it breaks down the membrane of the sperm and immobilizes it, preventing an unplanned pregnancy because the sperm can’t move to reach the egg.
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Best for: Anyone who hasn’t been tested for STIs in more than a year (or ever) and just wants a no-rush STI checkup.”