What is spermicide?
A barrier method of birth control containing a sperm-killing product. Spermicides are available in foam, cream, jelly, film, suppository or tablet form.
- Foam: prevents pregnancy by bubbling within the vagina, blocking the entrance to the uterus and killing sperm.
- Cream, Film, Jelly and Suppositories: prevent pregnancy by melting in the vagina, blocking the entrance to the uterus and killing sperm.
- The spermicide products are inserted deep into the vagina before intercourse.
- The instructions for each different form of spermicide must be read and followed before use, as the insertion requirements and techniques vary (for example, some products need to be in place for ten minutes before sexual intercourse begins).
No! Spermicide may protect against certain STIs including gonorrhea and chlamydia, but it does not protect against others, such as HIV and herpes.
Does it protect against pregnancy?
What are the chances of getting pregnant while using spermicide?
- Typical use: 26 percent
- Perfect use: 6 percent
- Spermicide is easy to obtain and can be purchased in drugstores and supermarkets.
- No prescription or fitting is required.
- Insertion of spermicide is easy once the correct technique is learned.
- Spermicide must be used correctly (read the directions!) to be effective at pregnancy prevention.
- Some spermicides may leak or be messy.
- A particular spermicide may irritate the vagina or penis; however, changing brands may fix the problem.
Always read the instructions and follow them carefully!
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The image presented here is simply for educational purposes and represent a "typical" style of this type of contraception. PAMF does not endorse any particular brand or method of contraception.
Additional Outside Sources
Below are sources PAMF accessed when researching this topic. PAMF, however, does not sponsor or endorse any of these sites, nor does PAMF guarantee the accuracy of the information contained on them.
Planned Parenthood. Birth Control [Online].
womenshealth.gov Birth Control Fact Sheets [Online].