The contraceptive properties of a gel formulation containing sodium lauryl sulfate were investigated in both in vitro and in vivo models. Results showed that sodium lauryl sulfate inhibited, in a concentration-dependent manner, the activity of sheep testicular hyaluronidase. Sodium lauryl sulfate also completely inhibited human sperm motility as evaluated by the 30-sec Sander-Cramer test. The acid-buffering capacity of gel formulations containing sodium lauryl sulfate increased with the molarity of the citrate buffers used for their preparations. Furthermore, experiments in which semen was mixed with undiluted gel formulations in different proportions confirmed their physiologically relevant buffering capacity. Intravaginal application of the gel formulation containing sodium lauryl sulfate to rabbits before their artificial insemination with freshly ejaculated semen completely prevented egg fertilization. The gel formulation containing sodium lauryl sulfate was fully compatible with nonlubricated latex condoms. Taken together, these results suggest that the gel formulation containing sodium lauryl sulfate could represent a potential candidate for use as a topical vaginal spermicidal formulation to provide fertility control in women.
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