Birth Control: Spermicides - Fairview Health Services
 
Print
Request Appointment

Birth Control: Spermicides

Woman looking at box of spermicide in drug store.

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.

Pregnancy Rates

Talk to your health care provider about the effectiveness of this birth control method.

Using Spermicides

  • 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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

 

Was this helpful?

Yes No
 

Tell us more.

Check all that apply.
 
 
 
 
 
NEXT ▶

Last question: How confident are you filling out medical forms by yourself?

Not at all A little Somewhat Quite a bit Extremely

Thank You!

 
 Visit Other Fairview Sites 
 
 
(c) 2012 Fairview Health Services. All rights reserved.