When it comes to modern contraceptives, condoms and birth control pills take the spotlight—with each option offering its own set of pros and cons. However, there is another contraceptive method available out there that is not only safe and effective, but also gives women the control of their bodies, especially when it comes to sexual pleasure—the VCF®. We interviewed Licensed Psychologist and Sex Therapist Rica Cruz to shed some light on this underrated birth control method.
According to Rica, the VCF® is a contraceptive method that empowers women by taking control over their bodies. In connection with her advocacy in helping women be more informed and removing the stigma and shame surrounding our bodies and sexual choices, she believes that it’s an exciting time for Filipinas since there are now products like VCF® made readily available. “It helps [us] recognize not just what we need, but what we want. The VCF® is effective, safe, and gentle to our bodies and at the same time, reinforces our agencies and control as sexual Filipino women,” she says.
WHAT IS VCF® AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
VCF® is short for vaginal contraceptive film. It’s inserted into the vagina before intercourse. It’s a thin, soluble film that is made with nonoxynol-9—a spermicide that kills sperm on contact. Once it comes into contact with vaginal fluids, it dissolves into a gel coating.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT?
Rica mentions that one of the most common misconceptions about the VCF® is that it may not be effective. Hence, women are scared to use it. “It has been tested over and over again that VCF® has a 94% efficacy rate when used correctly. Compare that to the withdrawal method which most couples here tend to use, it is definitely MORE effective,” she says.
When used with another birth control method, the effectiveness can go up to 99%. She recommends using the VCF® and the pull-out method together to be absolutely worry free.
HOW IT LOOKS LIKE
The VCF® comes in an individually sealed pouch and a product insert inside a box. When opened, it is a transparent pre-folded film that resembles a breath freshening strip.
WHY YOU SHOULD USE THE VCF®
Rica believes that the VCF® is for women who want to take control of their bodies. It is a contraceptive option that does not have potential side effects and other possible health issues that other contraceptive methods may bring. Unlike the pill, the VCF® is hormone-free. When she used to be on the pill, she experienced common side effects such as nausea and migraines.
Condoms leave the agency to men. For some, wearing a condom can also reduce the sexual sensation as well. On the other hand, using the VCF® cannot be felt by both parties during intercourse.
Another benefit of using the VCF®? No prescription is required. That way, you won’t have to worry about securing one from a healthcare professional every time you run out.
HOW TO USE THE VCF®
1. Wash your hands and make sure that your fingers are clean and dry.
2. Carefully remove the square of pre-folded film from the conveniently sealed pouch.
3. Fold VCF® between your fingertips. You can use your second or third finger.
4. Get into a comfortable position to insert the VCF®. Try to sit on the edge of the bed, toilet, or bathtub and then put your leg up. You may also want to squat, put a foot up on a chair, or lie on your back.
5. With one swift movement, place the VCF® deep in your vagina. It must be against your cervix. Do it fast so it won’t stick to your fingers!
6. Wait for at least 15 minutes before intercourse. It stays active for up to 3 hours.
- One film should be used for each act of intercourse.
- You can fold the film in half again to make the film smaller.
- The VCF® must be stored at room temperature.
- It does not protect against STIs. Use it with another contraceptive such as condoms to protect yourself from getting STIs.
Here’s what Rica Cruz and two of our officemates have to say about using the VCF®:
“It was orgasmic, literally. At first I felt unsure of what I was supposed to do and had to experiment on different ways to put it in. But after a few tries, I got the hang of it and now I’m able to insert it in a couple of seconds and I’m good to go for the next three hours with nothing to worry about.” - R.C.
“Inserting the VCF® was something I had to get used to. But once it was in, it felt like it wasn’t there at all. Let’s just say that it’s small price to pay for the experience. The second time was definitely easier. Plus, what I like about it is that you don’t need to dispose of anything afterward which makes it ultra-convenient. And just a heads up, the 15-minute waiting game is also something to prepare for!” - L.G.
“My partner and I prefer to use condoms. Which is why our proposing VCF wasn’t without its uncertainty—after all, it was completely new to us! After much reassurance and much research, we tried it out and it was a total game-changer. It wasn’t just effective and easy to use, the act was (TMI) pleasurable, too.” - C.O.
The VCF® Vaginal Contraceptive Film is on sale for P810 (limited time only) Shop it right here!
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