Spermicide is used for females it prevents pregnancy by keeping sperm from joining with an egg. Spermicides are inserted deep into the vagina shortly before intercourse. It melts or dissolves in the vagina to protect against pregnancy.

It comes in many forms: Cream, gel, sponge, foam, inserts, and film.

Side Effects

May raise the risk of getting infected by HIV.

Can irritate vagina or penis

Urinary tract infections when using 2 or more times a day.


71-85% chance you won't get pregnant.

Over the course of 1 year, about 29 out of 100 couples who use spermicide only will have a unexpected pregnancy.


It costs only about $0.50 to $1.50 per use. The film tends to be more expensive then the creams or gels.

Spermicides are available without a prescription and are found in drug stores and some supermarkets with a family planning aisle.


When combined with other barrier method the combined failure rate becomes 3%-10% Good method for people who have sexual intercourse infrequently.

Back up method for women waiting to start the pill or have an IUD inserted, or for forgetting to take pill or running out of pills.

Male partner does not need to be involved in decision to use product.


Must be inserted less than 30 mins prior to intercourse

Must be inserted for each act of sex

Requires another barrier to avoid high failure rates

Spermicide does NOT protect against STD's

Spermicide may irritate the penis or vagina.

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