Menu Close

The Use of Nonoxynol-9 for Protection against Cervical Gonorrhea


Weir, Sharon S.; Feldblum, Paul J.; Zekeng, Leopold; & Roddy, Ronald E. (1994). The Use of Nonoxynol-9 for Protection against Cervical Gonorrhea. American Journal of Public Health, 84(6), 910-914. PMCID: PMC1614944


OBJECTIVES: Although condoms are the best defense against sexually transmitted disease, little is known about the effectiveness of female-controlled methods containing nonoxynol-9 as backup protection when condoms are not being used.
METHODS: To assess the extent to which nonoxynol-9 protects women against gonorrhea, a cohort of 303 female sex workers (prostitutes) in Yaounde, Cameroon, were asked to use condoms and suppositories containing nonoxynol-9 at every sexual encounter and to record daily sexual activity and use of condoms and suppositories on coital logs that were reviewed monthly. Evidence of gonorrheal infection was based on a positive gonorrhea culture. Stratified analysis and proportional hazards regression were used to estimate rate ratios.
RESULTS: Forty-one women enrolled in the study were excluded from the current analysis. The estimated incidence of gonorrhea was 6.2 infections per 100 person-months of observation. Incidence rate ratios estimated from proportional hazards regression models controlling for condom use showed that using nonoxynol-9 during acts not protected by condoms reduced the risk of infection.
CONCLUSIONS: Although the protective effect of condoms against sexually transmitted disease is greater than that afforded by nonoxynol-9, using nonoxynol-9 when condoms are not used is a far better strategy in gonorrhea prevention than using no method at all.

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Public Health


Weir, Sharon S.
Feldblum, Paul J.
Zekeng, Leopold
Roddy, Ronald E.