What is Spermicide?

One method of contraception that has been used effectively since the 1960s is spermicide. Available in multiple forms including creams, gels, suppositories or foams, the job of the spermicide is to kill the sperm or at the very least prevent them from moving around. But this type of thing has actually been around for hundreds of years.

In the times of the Egyptians they used crocodile dung and it seemed to work the same way. In the early 1900s women were told to use spermicides after intercourse. OF course this was wrong. The early ones worked so poorly that in the 1930s this method of contraception had only a thirty percent success rate.

Best for Nursing Mothers

This method is commonly used by women who are nursing since it does not interfere with the production of breast milk. As well, there is nothing anything that could be carried to the baby through the milk by its use. The women who choose this method often do so because it makes for a good temporary choice while waiting for the Pill to be prescribed or the IUD to be fitted or at a time where their regular method of contraception was somehow missed.

It is rated as eighty percent effective which is why is it more often used as a companion method with a contraceptive sponge, diaphragm or condom.

Spermicide Advantages

Some of the advantages to using spermicides begin with convenience. There is not a prescription required and so it is easy to pick up at a pharmacy. It is not very expensive.

There are no restrictions on age. It okay for a young woman to use and can be continued throughout a womans reproductive life. It lasts up to twenty four hours per application.

The spermicide will work if they have intercourse once or three times during their love making event. The spermicide also has the advantage of not effecting fertility except for at the moment of use. That means if a woman uses it one night and decides the next day she wants to have a baby, twenty four hours after she puts it in she can work on getting pregnant.


Disadvantages include the fact that it is much less effective, by at least ten and up to nineteen percent, than many other contraceptive methods. A woman cannot bathe for up to eight hours after their use. The packages must be read carefully before use. Some of them have affects that last only one hour while others last all night. Some must be put in right before love making while others need to be put in an hour before.

Another disadvantage is that some women cannot tolerate the spermicide and have some type of reaction to it. This can include an irritation of the vagina or of the skin. Some women have urinary tract infections because of using it while others find the bacteria levels in their body have become unbalanced. As well, this product does not deter sexually transmitted diseases at all although some of those who use them believe that they do.