Why it's done

Spermicide is a contraceptive that helps to prevent pregnancy. Spermicide:

  • Is most effective when used with a barrier method, such as a condom, diaphragm, contraceptive sponge or cervical cap
  • Doesn't require partner cooperation
  • Doesn't require a prescription
  • Doesn't have the same side effects as hormone-based birth control methods
  • Increases lubrication during sex

Spermicide isn't right for everyone. Your health care provider may discourage use of spermicide if:

  • You're at high risk of contracting HIV, or you have HIV or AIDS
  • You have frequent urinary tract infections
  • You're at high risk of pregnancy — you're younger than age 30 or you have sex three or more times a week
  • You're not likely to consistently use spermicide along with other barrier methods
Jan. 07, 2016
References
  1. 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.html. Accessed Oct. 28, 2015.
  2. Barrier methods of contraception. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/-/media/For-Patients/faq022.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20151028T0940581149. Accessed Oct. 28, 2015.
  3. 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 Oct. 28, 2015.
  4. Hatcher RA, et al. Vaginal barriers and spermicides. In: Contraceptive Technology. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: Ardent Media; 2011.
  5. Zieman M. Overview of contraception. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 28, 2015.
  6. Rohren CH (expert opinion) Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 29, 2015.