Spermicides

Creams, jellies, vaginal films & suppositories inserted high into the vagina prior to intercourse, maintaining a supine position. This method destroys sperm or neutralizes secretions immobilizing sperm. Those that foam in a moist environment offer more rapid protection than a suppository, which requires 30 minutes to provide protection.

Effectiveness
  • 25-50% effectiveness when used alone
  • increases with the use of a male condom, cervical cap, diaphragm or female condom.
Advantages
  • widely available
  • low toxicity
  • provides protection against gonorrhea and Chlamydia and some against Trichomonas and herpes; HIV protection is still questionable.
Disadvantages
  • irritating to vaginal and cervical tissue
  • may cause urinary tract infections and allergic reactions