Disadvantages of using contraceptive film can include:
- Less effective than other birth control methods.
- No protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.
- Not being suitable if you or your partner react to spermicide.
- Potential irritation of the vagina or penis.
- The need to insert the film before every sexual encounter and wait 15 minutes for it to dissolve.
Contraceptive film is a small square of film you place inside your vagina before having sex. Within 15 minutes, it dissolves into a spermicidal gel that prevents pregnancy by killing sperm that enters your vagina.
Even though sperm is killed, you’ll still be exchanging fluids with your partner, meaning you have a chance of contracting an STI. What’s more, some people are allergic to the type of spermicide used in the contraceptive film, which is called nonoxynol-9. If this is the case, you or your partner could experience irritation and burning of the genitals.
Many people also don’t like the waiting period when using contraceptive film. Because the film needs to dissolve into a gel, you must insert it at least 15 minutes before you’re ready to have sex. Additionally, you’ll need to insert a new film each subsequent time you have sex. For some, this can really kill the mood.
Finally, because the film can be difficult to position correctly, it’s not as effective as some other birth control methods.
Despite these drawbacks, contraceptive film can be a good method of birth control for women who can’t use hormonal birth control options.