Birth Control: Spermicides
Spermicides help prevent pregnancy by killing sperm before they can enter the uterus. They come in many forms, including foam, jelly, film, and suppository-like inserts. These can be bought in drugstores without a prescription.
Talk to your health care provider about the effectiveness of this birth control method.
- For best protection against pregnancy, use spermicides with a barrier method (condom, diaphragm, or cervical cap).
- Apply before there is any contact between the penis and vagina.
- Check the package for instructions on how to apply.
- Reapply each time you have sex.
- Don't douche or use tampons for 6 to 8 hours after using a spermicide.
- Easy to get. No prescription needed.
- Either partner can apply them, so responsibility can be shared.
- Come in many forms.
- Easy to stop if you decide you want to become pregnant.
- High pregnancy rate when used alone.
- Provides little protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- Can interrupt sex.
- May cause minor irritation of the skin or vagina.
- May taste bad.
Spermicides may not be for you if:
- You are not also using a barrier method.
- You are allergic to spermicides.
- You're not willing to interrupt lovemaking to apply them.