New Warnings on Nonoxynol-9, and Spermicide in Your Hair Dye?
The FDA is requiring new labeling for Nonoxynol-9 spermicide products, in order to indicate that these contraceptives do not reduce the risk of HIV or other sexually transmitted infections. The warning is being added to stand-alone products (like the spermicidal gels you insert via a little applicator) only, but apparently not to condoms that include the chemical (presumably because the condom itself does protect against STIs). Shorter version of the FDA: spermicides are for pregnancy prevention only.
The FDA is also requiring that the revised labels “warn consumers that the chemical N9 in stand-alone vaginal contraceptives and spermicides can irritate the vagina and rectum, which may increase the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS from an infected partner.”
In looking for some info on the product, I looked in the Household Products Database (which tells you about the ingredients and risks of things like shampoos, cleaners, etc.), and I learned two things:
1) The Household Products Database does not include any over-the-counter contraceptive products in its “Personal Care” category.
2) Nonoxynol-9 is also an ingredient in the developer agent in many hair colorants.
Update: The Blog that Ate Manhattan has some really good stuff on this topic today.