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Barrier Contraceptives

[ Male Condom | Female Condom | Diaphragm and Cervical Cap ]
[ Vaginal Contraceptive Sponge | Vaginal Spermicide ]

Vaginal Spermicide

Effectiveness (Theoretical)
Effectiveness (Real World)

Vaginal spermicides include creams, jellies, foams and vaginal inserts or suppositories. Vaginal spermicides are sold without a prescription.

Spermicides contain a small amount of a chemical that kills sperm or makes them inactive. This prevents the sperm from entering the woman's uterus and fertilizing an egg. The spermicide is put into the vagina before intercourse.

Typically, a spermicide is 79% effective in preventing pregnancy. The best results are achieved when vaginal spermicides are used with another barrier method, such as a condom, diaphragm or cervical cap. No additional hormones are introduced into the body, and no pills need to be taken daily.

Some women (or their partners) may be allergic to certain spermicides. Spermicides may not be suitable for women who have an abnormal cervix or vagina. For a spermicide to be more effective, it needs to be used with another barrier method. Spermicides can be messy, need to be reapplied each time sex occurs, and placed in the vagina 5 to 15 minutes before sex. Spermicides may not provide sufficient protection against sexually-transmitted diseases.

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