Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Gynol II Discontinued

Janessen-Cilag has discontinued Gynol II®, a spermicidal jelly containing nonoxinol '9'.

Ortho-creme contains the same active ingredient but it is a cream base rather than a jelly. The tube size is also slightly smaller at 70g compared to 81g in Gynol II.

Action: Ortho-creme may be a suitable alternative for patients who are currently using Gynol II with good effect.

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75 Comments to “Gynol II Discontinued”

  1. I resumed using a diaphragm and Gygel 9 months ago, after a lengthy 'dry spell'. I was fitted for free at my local walk-in centre without any problems, though it did take three visits, and the doctor said I was the only person she'd fitted in years, and even when she was a gynaecologist previously, she fitted very few people. At first I tried getting Gygel from sexual health clinics, and soon discovered that some stock it and some don't. I now have Gygel on repeat prescription (2 large tubes) and all I have to do is give my pharmacist a call when I'm running low and they order it in and deliver it to my door within 3-5 days (they don't stock it because demand is low). As it's a contraceptive, the prescription and delivery is totally free. Easy peasy!

    I'm now wondering however if I'm having a mild reaction to the gel, which I've since discovered is quite common. While not sore, I feel somewhat inflamed, and sometimes the toilet paper comes away with a slightly pinkish tint. I've done a little research and discovered Contragel, but I'm struggling to find any impartial information (i.e. not from sellers) on how effective it is in preventing pregnancy compared to Gygel; does anyone know of any reputable sources of information, and whether it's available in the UK on prescription?

    Comment by Ellen — September 4, 2014 #
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    1. @Ellen,

      As far as I can tell Contragel is not available on NHS prescription but it may be worth asking your local pharmacy to double check. Also, it's actually a pretty old product so finding evidence of efficacy is not easy but it is claimed to be twice as effective at preventing pregnancy in combination with a diaphragm compared to using a diaphragm alone.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — September 6, 2014 #
      Reply

    2. The pink tinge is blood. The active ingredient Nonoxynol-9 (that is such a good sperm killer and also attacks the HIV virus) unfortunately attacks mucous membranes too. It took some time for this to be worked out. Even with the raw skin you are pregnancy protected, but more vulnerable to STI infection and this is why it is being withdrawn everywhere. (I guess they are not saying why to avoid lawsuits or otherwise getting it in the neck). Plus a sore vagina isn't very funny. So if you don't have sex that often, don't have sex outside of a monogamous relationship or have a more 'industrial' vagina, you are 'ok', in a manner of speaking. If not, Contragel is a good alternative.

      It has been the 'go to' spermicide in the Netherlands for about 20 years, maybe more, believe that is where it was developed. It works mainly due to its viscosity, which slows the little buggers down, and its fantastic PH - which is a hostile one for sperm... But a PERFECT one for your vagina - which means it adds to your overall vaginal health as very often things like thrush or BV ar triggered by a change in vaginal PH. Keeping a constant PH is very good for you!

      It has no smell and no real taste, which is an advantage, as Gynol and similar tasted quite nasty.

      I buy it online and have used it for years, no personal connection to the company. I am online looking to see if I can get it prescribed in Scotland.

      (The PH effects explain thrush with Gynol use, but cystitis is more likely to be something about sex itself (angle or too much upper vaginal wall stimulation irritating the urinary tract) or a diaphragm rubbing on the inside - make sure your fit is correct and always empty bladder after sex.

      Comment by Alexandra M — August 31, 2016 #
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  2. Please can anyone help?
    Have been left with problem of not being able to get my supply of gygel, now I am unprotected. I can't get sense out of doctor or chemist someone please explain what's going on and if there is any way of getting any cheap or an alternative, pretty worried!

    Comment by Marcia — January 14, 2014 #
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    1. @Marcia,

      I would suggest seeing a nurse at your surgery who provides contraceptive and family planning advice. Ask them about Gygel or it's alternatives.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — January 14, 2014 #
      Reply

    2. Gygel is available from Durbin sexual Health supplies email sexualhealth@durbin.co.uk
      The tubes are larger containing 81g and cost £11.

      Comment by Esther — January 27, 2014 #
      Reply

  3. Another excellent place to buy spermicide to use with diaphragms or cervical caps is buyspermicide.com. They sell spermicide (Gygel) and a natural alternative called Contragel. I've placed a number of orders through them, they have a repeat buyer discount, and I have always been completely pleased.

    Comment by Dawn — September 10, 2013 #
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  4. So, I too am disappointed to see my diaphragm jelly disappear. I have now found it, but it says "extra strength". What has changed, and will I be effected by it? Sure hoping it is the quality product I loved. Will be trying it out soon. There are many places to buy on-line.
    Thank you strong women from everywhere! I wanted to click "like/agree" on so many of these posts. Here is hoping our voice is heard so our children will have the choice of keeping their bodies safe and protected.

    Comment by Deborah — September 13, 2012 #
    Reply

  5. I have used Gynol II for years and years. And I would love to have it back again!

    Comment by Cheryl — September 5, 2012 #
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  6. Hi everyone,

    I have found two alternatives to Gynol and a brilliant company that are based in the UK but also ship all around the world. I have used both ContraGel and Gygel and I must admit I prefer the Contragel. I have been purchasing my supplies from a company called RDO Medical. You can purchase the Contragel in single tubes or in packs of 3 or 10. I have pasted the links to both gels. I HOPE THIS HELPS!! http://ethicalfamilyplanning.com/contragel-natural-spermicide-10pack.html
    http://ethicalfamilyplanning.com/buy-gygel-spermicide.html

    Comment by Sharon Redgrave — October 13, 2011 #
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  7. I am in NZ and my doc didn't know Gynol II was no longer available. When she rang the pharmacist they told her to tell me to order thru amazon.com, however that costs $15 for the product and about $44 for shipping and whatever other charges, total was about $58 so I cancelled the order... I am going to ask my local Health Store if they would do a bulk order - I don't mind paying a few $$ shipping, but not that much!!! I don't know why the G#DD#M chemist shop can't do that for us - NOT HAPPY JAN !

    Comment by Rosie — April 4, 2011 #
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  8. I am just thrilled at the number of diaphragm users. My clinic made me feel like I was the only person left in the UK using one. I feel like I have been given no choice in contraception and upset that the coil is presented as an alternative. I have not yet used gygel. But like many of you pay extortionate amounts for delivery from the US.

    Comment by Lesley — February 10, 2011 #
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  9. Has anyone had the following from gygel...
    irritation/sore crack in vagina, soreness when having sex/burning painful sensation in vagina-too sore to continue? This could have been thrush-I treated it with thrush meds and it cleared after a few days...has gygel ever caused thrush? does it change the acidity ph balance? I then got cystitus after this. Is there any known link with cystitus and gygel? I am getting myself checked out by gynae and urologist but would appreciate any comments if anyone has had problems with gygel...?does it have any nasties in it? Is it dangerous to use it a lot longer term?

    Comment by Camilla — February 18, 2010 #
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  10. Many thanks to everyone for this helpful thread. I've been using Gynol II in Australia for 24 years. When local stocks disappeared I began ordering online from undercovercondoms in the US for the last 3 years but they are no longer supplying. What a relief to discover that gygel is available! The express chemist site - http://www.expresschemist.co.uk - is offering a discount for purchases of 3 or more tubes so I've ordered several.

    Comment by Victoria Castiglione — December 28, 2009 #
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  11. Thank you you wonderful women. I had recently concluded that I must be the last woman on earth to still be trying to use a contraceptive diaphram with spermicide. Although I couldn't help thinking that Cherie Blair and her much derided "contraceptive equipment" might be a fellow user. I got Gynol 11 in New Zealand earlier this year but they tell me that they no longer have any supplies so I'm mightily relieved to hear of the gygel - and of all you wonderful women struggling on against the odds. Now we know of each other, surely we can do something about our "CHOICES"?

    Comment by Cathy — November 15, 2009 #
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  12. After using the diaphragm successfully for many years I was told no more jelly anywhere!After trying and failing miserable with the coil and after a nasty termination at 39 I am at a loss as to which contraceptive method to use now. It puts you off having sex! Why don't men have all these problems? I don't want to be pumped with hormones that cause mood swings and irregular periods and acne at my age. I just want a safe convenient method of contraception. Bring back the jelly!

    Comment by Michelle — July 3, 2009 #
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  13. Women in Ireland are in the same situation with few Pharmacies being very clear on if stock is available or not. In my late thirties, having used a diaphragm successfully for the past 15 years my request for the now disappeared otho gynol gel and my use of a diaphragm drew looks of incredulity from pharmacy staff. With a history of famillial breast cancer a diaphragm always seemed the best option. I never knew I was so out of synch with modernity! Thanks for the undercovercondoms site address. I am saved.

    Comment by Suzi — May 21, 2009 #
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  14. I used a diaphragm with Gynol ll for 15 years with absolutely no problem. Since I started using my diaphragm again using the new substitute Ortho-Cream I have had thrush, then I had Cystitis. I had to stop using my diaphragm because of the discomfort, I carried on having sex regularly and noticed a chapped and sore feeling which has been coming and going for a couple of months, this has led to small paper-cut like bits on my perineum which heal when I have a rest for a couple of days just to return again on having intercourse - its ruining my sex life at the moment and I really think it may be to do with the Ortho Cream now that I have seen the posts on this site. I still have the soreness, dryness and cuts which come and go with chapping after intercourse. Is this an allergic reaction which is continuing even after I have abandoned using my diaphragm altogether?

    Comment by Susan — January 27, 2009 #
    Reply

    1. Susan,

      If at the same time you stopped using your diaphragm you stopped using the Ortho Creme too then I think it would be unlikely that your symptoms are an allergy. If you are still using the cream then it is a possibility. You don't say what (if any) form of contraception you are using now but if you are using condoms for example they may be causing localised irritations.

      Your best option would be to have a check with a family planning nurse at you GP surgery or via your local sexual health services. They can offer contraceptive advice but may also be able to find a cause and solution for your symptoms and return your sex life to normal for you.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — January 28, 2009 #
      Reply

  15. Following reading about ordering gynol 11 from the undercovercondoms website I received my order from America 6 days later and shipping was free.
    Brilliant.Thanks everyone.

    Comment by Debbie — December 21, 2008 #
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  16. Also available from http://www.shopinprivate.com/ along with the milder original 2% nonoxynol version in an even bigger tube (108g), especially intended for use with diaphragms. I ordered one tube of the Gygel and was shocked to find it was so small, so expensive, and also I thought the consistency and the smell were both awful. Luckily my order of Gynol from the US showed up, and I didn't have to use the whole tube. Thank goodness I'm near the end of my need for contraceptives, but I am distressed about the lack of options that my daughters have to face. I guess this is what happens to freedom of choice when everything is driven by profit.

    Comment by Grace — November 19, 2008 #
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  17. Wow, it's reassuring to see so many others have been posting on this issue. To reply to the question as to alternatives, I imported my Gynol II from the US rather than use Ortho Creme. It's now nearing its use-by date (I did rather over-buy!), so will discuss current options with my GP.

    Comment by Debbie — November 11, 2008 #
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  18. I started with Gynol, then ortho cream now gygel. all dispenced by my family planning clinic. Now when I drop in they never have any Gygel in stock or limit me to one tiny 30g tube.

    If I was a teenager I would be pregnant by now!I'm going to have to import from the states.....hoe inconvienent!

    Comment by Hb — November 11, 2008 #
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  19. I'd like to add my name to the list of women who are disgusted by the withdrawal of Gynol II, and who find Ortho Creme impossible to use as it is so irritating. I have used the diaphragm + gel as my sole method of contraception for 25 years and have never got pregnant with it. I'm now in my mid 40s, and don't want to change to a hormone-based method. My GP has advised me that the diaphragm is 'not longer popular'. No wonder, if Ortho Creme is all that's available. It stings! We need our voices to be heard. -- Kat

    Comment by Kat — October 20, 2008 #
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  20. I live in the US and can not find Gynol II anywhere. I found this website and was surprised to hear the same complaints as I have. I told my husband he will have to get a vasectomy if I couldn't use this!! I did order online at http://www.undercovercondoms.com. They charged me a total of $17.90 with shipping. Good luck to all of you in the UK.

    Comment by Victoria — September 30, 2008 #
    Reply

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