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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hatcher RA, et al. Vaginal barriers and spermicides. In: Contraceptive Technology. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: Ardent Media; 2011.
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