Spermicide (Vaginal Route)Drug Information provided by: Micromedex
US Brand Names
Vaginal spermicides are a type of contraceptive (birth control). These products are inserted into the vagina before any genital contact occurs or sexual intercourse begins. They work by damaging and killing sperm in the vagina. Therefore, the sperm are not able to travel from the vagina into the uterus and fallopian tubes, where fertilization takes place.
Vaginal spermicides, when used alone, are much less effective in preventing pregnancy than birth control pills, an intrauterine device (IUD), or spermicides used together with another form of birth control, such as cervical caps, condoms, or diaphragms. Studies have shown that when spermicides are used alone, pregnancy usually occurs in 21 of each 100 women during the first year of spermicide use. The number of pregnancies is reduced when spermicides are used with another method, especially the condom. Discuss with your doctor what your options are for birth control and the risks and benefits of each method.
The most effective way to protect yourself against HIV (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is by abstinence (not having sexual intercourse) or by having only one partner who you can be sure is not already infected or is not going to get an STD. However, if either of these methods is not likely or possible, using latex (rubber) condoms with a spermicide is the best way of protecting yourself.
The use of a spermicide is recommended even when you are using nonbarrier methods of birth control, such as birth control pills (the pill) or intrauterine devices (IUDs), since these do not offer any protection from STDs.
Vaginal spermicides are available without a prescription.