Basics about SPERMICIDES -
- A SPERMICIDE is a substance inserted in the vagina that kills or disables sperm on contact so that it cannot cause pregnancy.
- Spermicides come in many different forms: foam, jelly, cream, film, and suppositories
- Most use the chemical nonoxynol-9
- Even more effective when used with a barrier method of birth control, such as latex condoms
- Spermicides work only if you use them every time you have sex
Couples might LIKE Spermicides because:
- Available without a prescription, you can buy them in a drugstore and they do not require an office visit
- Lubrication may increase pleasure
- Use can be part of sex play
- Safe/no major side effects
- Immediate return to fertility
- Do not require partner cooperation
- They cause few health problems
Couples might DISLIKE Spermicides because:
- Do not protect against STIs/STDs and HIV/AIDS
- Can be messy
- Can have a bad taste during oral sex
- Not as effective as other birth control methods
- You must put them in within about 15-20 minutes of having sex
How well do they work?
Spermicides used alone are 79-84 %. This means that about 16 to 21 women out of a 100
using spermicides become pregnant. If used in conjunction with a latex condom, they become 97% effective, so only 3 women out of 100 become pregnant.
How does Spermicide compare with the effectiveness of other forms of birth control?
Women out of 100 that got pregnant using the methods below
How do you use spermicides?
The lubrication they provide can increase pleasure. Insert your spermicide 10-15 minutes before intercourse. Add more spermicide for repeated intercourse. Leave your spermicide in your vagina for 6-8 hours after the last act of intercourse and do not douche for 8 hours. Douching weakens spermicide. Spermicides are available in most drug stores and do not require a prescription.
Foam comes in a can and has the consistency of shaving cream. To use it, shake
the can well. Place the applicator on the top of the can and press down. The
plunger will rise as the applicator fills. Insert the applicator about two to three
inches into your vagina and press the plunger to deposit the foam over your
cervix. As you withdraw the applicator, be sure not to pull back on the plunger.
This will suck some foam back into the applicator. It is effective immediately.
Creams and Jellies:
Creams are opaque and jellies are clear. They can be inserted into the vagina with
an applicator. Cream or jelly is typically used with a diaphragm or cervical cap.
They can also be used with condoms and are effective immediately.
Vaginal Contraceptive Film (VCF):
VCF comes in thin squares that dissolve over the cervix. To use it, fold the film in
half and then place it on the tip of a finger. Insert your finger into your vagina
and put the VCF over your cervix. A dry finger and quick insertion will help the
VCF stay in place and not to stick to your finger. It may take 10-15 minutes for
the VCF to melt and become effective.
Suppositories are capsules that dissolve in the vagina. They are inserted into the
Vagina like a tampon and pushed up to the cervix. It takes about 10-20 minutes
for a suppository to become effective.
What about the side effects?
- Frequent use can make you more susceptible to STIs/STDs and HIV/AIDS
- If irritation of the vagina or penis develops, discontinue use and consult