Spermicide is a substance that contains chemicals, such as nonoxynol-9, that immobilize or kill sperm. Spermicide is put into the vagina before sex to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. Spermicide is available without a prescription and comes in many forms, including cream, gel, foam, film, suppository and tablet.
Spermicide isn't a highly effective birth control method when used alone. However, spermicide can also be used with a barrier method — such as a condom, diaphragm or cervical cap — to prevent pregnancy. Spermicide doesn't offer protection from sexually transmitted infections.
Jan. 09, 2013
- Birth control methods fact sheet. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/birth-control-methods.cfm. Accessed Nov. 9, 2012.
- Barrier methods of contraception. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq022.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20121114T1421340224. Accessed Nov. 14, 2012.
- Over-the-counter vaginal contraceptive and spermicide drug products containing nonoxynol-9; Required labeling. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/OHRMS/DOCKETS/98fr/80n-0280-nfr0003.pdf. Accessed Nov. 14, 2012.
- Hatcher RA, et al. Contraceptive Technology. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: Ardent Media; 2011:391.
- Zieman M. Overview of contraception. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Nov. 9, 2012.