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Vaginal Spermicides


What Is It?

Creams, gels/jellies, foams, films or suppositories containing sperm-killing chemicals.


How Does It Work?

  • Kills sperm
  • Some kinds block sperm from entering the cervix
  • Prevents fertilization

How Is It Used?

  • Placed inside the vagina by hand or with applicator before sex
  • May be placed on condom, or inside diaphragm or cervical cap

Effectiveness:

74% - 94%
Using a condom with spermicide increases effectiveness up to 99.9%


Important Notes:

  • Only effective for about one hour when used alone
  • Additional application is needed for each act of intercourse
  • Follow instructions, some are not effective until 10-15 minutes after inserting

Benefits:

  • No prescription needed
  • Available at most drugstores

Possible Concerns:

  • May cause irritation or discomfort
  • Frequent spermicide use (> or = 2 times/day) may cause irritation that may increase susceptibility to HIV
  • May increase risk for vaginal and urinary tract infections
  • Some people may be allergic to spermicides
  • Proper use may interrupt sexual mood
  • May leak, or feel messy

NOT PROVEN TO REDUCE THE RISK OF HIV/AIDS AND STDs





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