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Vaginal Spermicide

Frequently Asked Spermicide Questions

What are vaginal spermicides?

Vaginal spermicides come in the form of contraceptive jellies, creams, and suppositories. Spermicides are less than 100% effective in preventing pregnancy.

Spermicidal Cream: The spermicidal cream or jelly needs to be placed inside your vagina with an applicator before intercourse. It is inserted deep into the vagina just before intercourse. If a second episode of intercourse occurs, additional spermicide must be used.

Spermicidal Suppositories: Spermicidal suppositories need to be unwrapped and pushed inside your vagina against the cervix. You must wait 10-15 minutes for the suppository to melt before it is will work to prevent pregnancy.

How do spermicides work?

Spermicides contain a chemical that kills the sperm before they reach the uterus (womb).

Who can use spermicides?
Anyone who wants protection from unwanted pregnancy can use spermicides.
Who should not use spermicides?

You should not use spermicides if:

  • You have an allergy to spermicides
  • You need protection from sexually transmitted diseases including HIV
Who is the risk of spermicides?

Spermicides may cause irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals.

What are the side effects of spermicides?
Some women complain of vaginal irritation after using spermicides. You may experience increased discharge after using a spermicide.
What are the advantages of spermicides?
  • Inexpensive
  • No need to see your health care provider
  • 94% effective in preventing pregnancy
  • No delay in ability to become pregnant after discontinuing use
What are the disadvantages of spermicides?
  • No protection from sexually transmitted diseases
  • Can be messy
  • Side effects
  • Need to use prior to intercourse


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