These routes include:
Each of these routes has advantages and disadvantages, and some specific routes need to be used for the particular condition that is being treated.
For treating vaginal conditions, the use of the vaginal route of administration has many advantages: the medication is more quickly absorbed into the bloodstream than oral medication, lower doses can be used, the medication doesn’t need to be taken as often, it is easier to maintain a steady level of the drug, and it does not need to pass through the digestive system.
Vaginal suppositories are a common way to administer medications directly into the vagina. These suppositories are small capsules that are inserted directly into the vagina, melt inside the body, are absorbed by the vaginal wall, and release medication into the bloodstream.
Vaginal suppositories are used to deliver medications that treat vaginal yeast infections (Candida) and vaginal dryness, and can also be used to deliver spermicide for birth control or boric acid, which can be used to help fight bacterial vaginosis and vaginal yeast infections.
Inserting a vaginal suppository is similar to inserting a tampon.
The following is a list of step-by-step instructions on how to use them correctly.
Vaginal suppositories can leak, so using them right before bed can minimize the leakage that would be more likely to occur during sitting and standing. A sanitary pad is also helpful to absorb leaks and protect undergarments and bed linens.
Though suppositories can be used during menstruation, tampons should not be used since they will absorb the medication. Sanitary pads should be used instead.
If you miss a dose, wait until your next scheduled dose. Do not double up doses.
Do not douche while being treated with vaginal suppositories.
It is important to continue using the suppositories for as long as directed by the medical provider, even when symptoms improve or go away.
Store the suppositories in a cool place, away from heat, to prevent them from melting before use.
If you are using a spermicide suppository for contraception, you should insert it at least 10-15 minutes before having sex, allowing enough time for the suppository to melt and disperse.
While you are being treated with vaginal suppositories, it may be advisable or necessary to refrain from sexual intercourse during your course of treatment.
This is because the medication may be pushed out of the vagina by intercourse or may damage and weaken condoms or diaphragms, increasing the risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease. It is essential to speak with your healthcare provider about any recommendations specific to your condition and medication.