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Birth Control: SpermicidesControl de la natalidad: Los espermicidas

Birth Control: Spermicides

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Spermicides help prevent pregnancy by killing sperm before they can enter the uterus. They come in many forms, including foam, jelly, film, and suppository-like inserts. These can be bought in drugstores without a prescription.

Pregnancy Rates

Talk to your healthcare provider about the effectiveness of this birth control method.

Using Spermicides

  • For best protection against pregnancy, use spermicides with a barrier method (condom, diaphragm, or cervical cap).

  • Apply before there is any contact between the penis and vagina.

  • Check the package for instructions on how to apply.

  • Reapply each time you have sex.

  • Don't douche or use tampons for 6 to 8 hours after using a spermicide.

Pros

  • Easy to get. No prescription needed.

  • Either partner can apply them, so responsibility can be shared.

  • Come in many forms.

  • Easy to stop if you decide you want to become pregnant.

Cons

  • High pregnancy rate when used alone.

  • Provides little protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

  • Can interrupt sex.

  • May cause minor irritation of the skin or vagina.

  • May taste bad.

Spermicides may not be for you if...

  • You are not also using a barrier method.

  • You are allergic to spermicides.

  • You're not willing to interrupt lovemaking to apply them.

Date Last Reviewed:

Date Last Modified: 2009-03-30T00:00:00-06:00

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