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Definition of Nonoxynol

Nonoxynol: Nonoxynol-9 is the most commonly encountered spermatocide in the United States. As with other spermatocides, it destroys spermatozoa; it kills sperm.

The nonoxynols, technically speaking, are nonionic surfactant [surface active] mixtures that vary in the number of repeating ethoxy groups. They are much used as detergents, emulsifiers, wetting and defoaming agents, etc.

Nonoxynol-9 has 9 repeating ethoxy groups. It is the active component of most vaginal foams and creams.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=10014
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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