Birth Control Guide - Spermicides

What is Spermicides?

Spermicides (foams, creams, films, suppositories, gel, and tablets) contain chemicals that:

Birth Control Guide - Spermicides

  • kill sperm before they reach the egg, or
  • create a barrier to block sperm from moving through the cervix.

How well does Spermicides work?

Used on their own, spermicides do not work as well as some other kinds of birth control. Spermicide works much better if it is used with a barrier method of birth control, like a condom. Spermicides will not protect you from sexually transmitted infections. You and your partner should use a condom.

How do I use Spermicides?

You can buy spermicides at the drug store. Follow the directions and pictures inside the package or on the box. The directions are different for different products. Read and follow the directions each time you have intercourse. Spermicides must be left in place at least 6–8 hours after you have intercourse. Do not douche, or have a bath for at least 6–8 hours afterwards. You may wash the outside of your pubic area if you wish.

Does Spermicides have any side effects?

There are no serious side effects, but some people are sensitive or allergic to the products. Spermicides can cause itching, smelling or burning. If this happens, stop using it so you do not get an infection.

Will Spermicides affect our sex life?

Some spermicides add moisture to your vagina. Some people find this messy. Others find the extra moisture is good during intercourse.

Where can I get Spermicides?


You can buy spermicides in any drug store. You do not need a prescription.
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