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