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Updated June 18, 2014



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Definition: Spermicide is an over-the-counter, contraceptive method that immobilizes sperm. Spermicides are available in several forms:
  • Spermicidal jelly
  • Cream
  • Foam
  • Tablets
  • Suppositories
  • Film
Some of the types of spermicide melt after being inserted and form a barrier that blocks the entrance to the uterus. However, the main way that spermicides prevent pregnancy is through disabling (or killing) sperm. Many spermicides contain the chemical Nonoxynol-9 (N-9); it is important that you follow the warning labels of these spermicides because too frequent use of N-9 may pose problems.

Spermicide is inserted into the vagina just before intercourse to prevent pregnancy. This type of contraception tends to be most effective when used with another method of birth control (like a condom). Vaginal spermicides are 71% to 85% effective. This means that with typical use, about 29 out of every 100 women who use contraceptive foam, cream, jelly, film, or suppositories will become pregnant during the first year. With perfect use, 15 will become pregnant.

More: Different Types of Spermicide

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Also Known As: Spermicidal jelly, vaginal spermicides, spermicidal foam, spermicidal tablets, spermicidal suppositories, spermicidal jelly, spermicidal cream, spermicide gel, contraceptive foam, contraceptive cream, contraceptive jelly, or contraceptive film.

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