Overview

Spermicide is a type of contraceptive that kills sperm or stops it from moving. You insert spermicide in the vagina before sex. The chemicals in the spermicide, such as nonoxynol-9, prevent sperm from entering the uterus. You can get spermicide over-the-counter. It's available in many forms, including cream, gel, foam, film, suppository and tablet.

Spermicide isn't a very effective birth control method when used alone. However, you can use spermicide with a barrier method — such as a condom, diaphragm or cervical cap — to improve its effectiveness with preventing pregnancy. Spermicide doesn't protect against sexually transmitted infections.

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.