Home > Health A – Z > Spermicide

Spermicide

Spermicide is a contraceptive substance that destroys sperm, inserted vaginally prior to intercourse to prevent pregnancy. As a contraceptive, spermicide may be used alone. However, the pregnancy rate experienced by couples using only spermicide is higher than that of couples using other methods. Usually, spermicides are combined with contraceptive barrier methods such as diaphragms, condoms, cervical caps, and sponges.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: Wikipedia)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

The safety of candidate vaginal microbicides since nonoxynol-9: a systematic review of published studies

The authors concluded that larger and longer-term studies were required to detect clinically important toxicities of vaginal microbicides, including adverse effects that may be associated with a potential increase in HIV risk. Although there were limitations in the conduct of this review, the authors’ conclusions appeared to reflect limited evidence from small short-term studies and are likely to be reliable.

Diaphragm compared to diaphragm with spermicide for birth control

The diaphragm is an important type of birth control. The woman controls the method and it does not involve taking a drug. Also, the birth control can be reversed right away. The diaphragm is often used with a spermicide ‐ a chemical to kill sperm. Many women feel that the spermicide is awkward and messy to use. Spermicides may increase the risk of infections in the urinary tract. Some health care workers think that spermicide does not help with birth control.

Spermicide used alone for birth control

Spermicides have been used as birth control for thousands of years. Studies have recently looked at how well they work to prevent pregnancy and whether women like them. Spermicides contain an active ingredient (usually nonoxynol‐9) and something to disperse the product, such as foam or vaginal suppository (pessary). This review compared how well different spermicides worked for birth control when used alone.

See all (12)

Summaries for consumers

Diaphragm compared to diaphragm with spermicide for birth control

The diaphragm is an important type of birth control. The woman controls the method and it does not involve taking a drug. Also, the birth control can be reversed right away. The diaphragm is often used with a spermicide ‐ a chemical to kill sperm. Many women feel that the spermicide is awkward and messy to use. Spermicides may increase the risk of infections in the urinary tract. Some health care workers think that spermicide does not help with birth control.

Spermicide used alone for birth control

Spermicides have been used as birth control for thousands of years. Studies have recently looked at how well they work to prevent pregnancy and whether women like them. Spermicides contain an active ingredient (usually nonoxynol‐9) and something to disperse the product, such as foam or vaginal suppository (pessary). This review compared how well different spermicides worked for birth control when used alone.

Nonoxynol‐9 for preventing vaginal acquisition of HIV infection by women from men

The spermicide nonoxynol‐9 does not prevent women becoming infected with sexually transmitted infections, and when used very frequently has been shown to cause open genital sores (which may theoretically increase the chance of acquiring sexually transmitted HIV infection).

See all (8)

More about Spermicide

Photo of a young adult

Also called: Spermicidal

Keep up with systematic reviews on Spermicide:

RSS

PubMed Health Blog...

read all...