Spermicide & Gel

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Easy to find, no hormones, and no prescription needed


Spermicide refers to a bunch of different creams, films, foams, gels, and suppositories that contain chemicals that you insert into your vagina. It stops sperms from moving and also helps keep sperm from getting through your cervix and into your uterus.

  • Easy to use and convenient to get a hold of
  • Doesn’t affect your hormones
  • No prescription needed
  • Can be used while breastfeeding
  • Can be used with other barrier and birth control methods
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs, including HIV
  • Can be messy and/or leak out of your vagina
  • May cause some irritations for you or your partner
  • May not like the taste
  • Not as effective alone

How to Use

There are a lot of different spermicides available. Be sure to read the instructions on the packaging and the expiration date before using. Usually you will put some spermicide on your fingers or with an applicator and put in deep into your vagina. Some spermicides may require you to wait 10 minutes before having sex.


Spermicide takes effort and commitment. You have to use it EVERY time you have sex or use it with another barrier or birth control method.


Spermicide is not very effective with a failure rate of 29% for typical use. It is more effective with another barrier method. With perfect use, it is 82% effective, but with typical use it is 72% effective.

Side Effects

Usually none, but you or your partner may experience some irritation. Some people may even be allergic to the active ingredient in spermicide, Nonoxynol-9.


You will be able to become pregnant as soon as you stop using spermicide. If you stop using spermicide and are not ready for become pregnant, use another method right away.

How to Get

Spermicide does not require a prescription. It is available online, at most drug stores and supermarkets. You may even be able to get spermicide from a family planning clinic near you.


Spermicide isn’t too expensive but you may be able to get it free or at a reduced cost at a family planning clinic near you.