Spermicide comes as a cream, gel, sponge, foam, insert, or film. The spermicide is inserted into the body before sex. Spermicide has chemicals that prevent pregnancy by killing sperm.

How effective is it against pregnancy?

  • Typical use: Prevents pregnancy 79% of the time
  • Perfect use: Prevents pregnancy 82% of the time
  • Using spermicide correctly and consistently increases its effectiveness. If you use spermicide perfectly, it is about 82% effective at preventing pregnancy.

How to Use:

  • Insert spermicide each time you have sex


  • Can buy at many stores
  • Can insert as part of sex play/foreplay
  • Can be used while breastfeeding
  • Can be inserted up to 1 hour before having sex


  • May raise the risk of getting HIV and other STIs
  • May irritate vagina or penis
  • May be messy
  • Does not protect against HIV or other STIs – use a condom with this method

More info: How Do I Use Spermicide?

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