A woman may need to insert a cream or gel into the vagina for topical treatment of an infection, inflammatory condition or hormonal disorder or for contraception.


Application is often done at bedtime since this:

(1) reduces leakage with soiling or staining of clothes

(2) maximizes retention


Some creams come with several disposable syringe-like inserters. The open end is screwed onto the tube and is filled to a specified level to determine the dose. Other creams come in prefilled applicators.



(1) The woman assumes a comfortable position.

(2) The open end of the applicator is inserted into the vagina as far as comfortably possible.

(3) The plunger is depressed or the delivery mechanism is employed.

(4) The applicator is removed and either cleaned or disposed of.

(5) The woman washes her hands thoroughly.


The tube should be kept tightly closed to prevent drying out.



(1) If the cream contains mineral oil, then use of a latex product (condom, diaphragm) should be avoided, since the oil may damage the latex.

(2) A cream should not be used during pregnancy unless approved by the obstetrician.

(3) The cream should not be used if the woman is also using a tampon.


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