Chemical Method

Spermicides affect the way a sperm travels in the womb making it hard for them to move freely and fertilize an egg.




Low cost

Hormone free

Widely available



    Spermicides are an add-on option and not very effective on their own. As such, they should not be used alone as a contraceptive. However, when used with a diaphragm, a cervical cap or a condom, they suddenly start making an impact. Spermicides come in many forms: pastes, foams, films, and more. They work by creating an environment that makes it difficult for sperm to move around freely.

    Spermicides - Chemical Method

    HOW TO

    As spermicides aren’t recommended as a contraceptive on their own, the instructions on how to use them lie in the other contraception method you are using them with. You need to put spermicide into the vagina 5 to 90 minutes before you have sex. Generally, you need to leave it in place at least 6 to 8 hours after sex. You should not douche or rinse your vagina during this period. Instructions can differ for each type of spermicide. Regardless of what contraception you use them with, remember to pay attention to expiry dates.


    • It can be used on demand
    • It’s easy to use
    • It is hormone free
    • It’s widely available
    • It requires keeping track of the hours inserted
    • It may cause some irritation, allergic reactions, urinary tract infection
    • If you are also using a medicine for a vaginal yeast infection, the spermicide might not work as well
    • Should not be used as a contraceptive on its own as it is not effective
    • Does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)


      No, it is not recommended. Spermicides aren’t very effective on their own and shouldn’t be used alone as a contraceptive but when used with a diaphragm, a cervical cap or a condom, they begin to make a difference.

      Yes, spermicide can be used at the same time as latex condoms. The spermicidal active ingredient does not attack the latex material.

      After you have had sexual intercourse and used spermicides you can have a shower or wash, depending on the type. Some spermicides won't interact with normal soaps or body wash products. Others can become less effective when exposed to substances, like common soaps or shower gels. Make sure that you carefully read through the given directions.

      Spermicides can be used by couples of all ages. However, some couples may experience some irritation, allergic reactions, urinary tract infections.

      Yes, always. You usually need to leave it in place at least 6 to 8 hours after sex; do not douche or rinse the vagina for at least 6 hours after sex. Instructions can be different for each type of spermicide. Whether you’re using a cervical cap, a diaphragm, male or female condoms or another method, read the instructions before you use it and pay attention to expiry dates