What is Spermicide?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 02, 2012

What is Spermicide

Spermicide is a contraceptive substance, which is inserted in vagina prior to intercourse.  Spermicides are available in various forms such as gel, films, pessary, sponges, creams and foaming tablets. Spermicides provide lubrication and are flavourless, clear, non- staining and scentless.

How Spermicides Work?

Spermicides contain a chemical called nonoxynol-9 that kills the sperms or make them inactive to move. Spermicides block the cervix preventing sperm from reaching the egg.

Effectiveness of Spermicides

Spermicides are more effective in birth control when combined with other contraceptive  methods. Combined methods give lower pregnancy rates when compared with the usage of a single contraceptive method. Spermicides are commonly used with the diaphragm and cervical cap. This vaginally inserted contraceptive method increases the birth preventive efficacy of a condom. Spermicides are more effective when combined with latex condom.

Advantages of Spermicides

•    You can easily get spermicides at drugstores without any prescription.
•    Breastfeeding women can use them.
•    Spermicides provide lubrication to vagina.
•     During sex play, the partner can insert it.
•    Spermicides are harmless to a woman’s natural hormones.
•    Increases the effectiveness of diaphragm and condom.
•     After ejaculation, penis can remain in the vagina.

Disadvantages of Spermicides

•    After one hour of insertion, the spermicides lose their effectiveness.
•    Some spermicides leak from the vagina. Therefore, they are considered messy.
•    Each form of spermicide is used in a different way. Sometimes, the usage of each can be confusing.
•    Vagina or penis may develop irritation after using spermicides. You can use different brands to solve this problem.
•    WHO does not recommend spermicides to persons having multiple sex partners.
•    Use of spermicides can increase the risk of HIV infection or other sexually transmitted infections due to irritation in genital openings.


How to use Spermicides?

Before using spermicides, make sure you read and understand all the directions given on its packaging. If not used as directed, spermicides will be less effective.

Lie down for easy insertion of the spermicide deep into the vagina. After insertion, you need to wait for 10 minutes to have an intercourse. You will need to insert another spermicide for each sexual intercourse.

Spermicide is a birth control method that disrupts the movement of sperms to the cervix.  Inserted vaginally, shortly before intercourse, you can use them with other contraceptive methods to increase their efficacy. Keep changing the brand of spermicides to prevent itching and burning sensations in the genital parts of both the partners.


Read more articles on Contraception.




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