Birth Control – Frequently Asked Questions

Spermicide For Birth Control

What is Spermicide?

Spermicide is a chemical that stops sperm from spreading. Spermicides are available in different forms, including film, creams, gel, foam and suppositories. It can be used alone, or with other birth control methods to make them more effective.

How Does Spermicide Work?

Spermicides prevent pregnancy by preventing sperm from entering the cervix. They keep sperm from moving so they cannot join with an egg.

How Effective is Spermicide?

Effectiveness is an important and common concern when choosing a birth control method. Like all birth control methods, spermicide is more effective when you use it properly. Used alone, Spermicide is not very effective. It is much more effective when used with a condom.

How Safe is Spermicide?

Most women can use spermicide safely. Some people are allergic to spermicides or develop skin irritations from them. If a spermicide irritates your vagina or your partner’s penis, you might want to try changing brands.

Benefits of Spermicide

  • Easy to carry in purse or pocket
  • Can be inserted by partner as form of sex play
  • No effect on a woman’s natural hormones
  • Easy to obtain in drugstores and supermarkets
  • Does not require a prescription
  • Can be used while breastfeeding

Disadvantages Of Spermicide

  • If not used exactly as directed, spermicides may not form a good barrier over the cervix. This may make the spermicide less effective.
  • Some women complain that spermicides are messy or that they leak from the vagina.
  • Spermicides may irritate the penis or vagina. Although sometimes switching brands may help.

How are Spermicides Used?

  • Each form of spermicide is used in a slightly different way. Be sure to carefully read the instructions that come with the package. Make sure you read and understand them before using. If you do not do not use spermicide as directed, it will be less effective.
  • In general, inserting spermicide is easy. You will lie down or squat, then gently insert the spermicide deep into the vagina using your fingers or an applicator.
  • For many types of contraceptive creams, film, foam, gels or suppositories, you need to wait 10 minutes after insertion before you can have intercourse. These methods typically remain effective for only one hour after insertion.
  • You must insert more spermicide each time you have vaginal intercourse.
  • Douching should be avoided unless instructed by your healthcare provider.

Where to Get Spermicide?

Spermicide is available at local pharmacies and grocery stores and the cost is generally very reasonable.

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