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What’s spermicide?

Spermicide is a kind of birth control that has chemicals that stop sperm from reaching an egg. You put it in your vagina before sex to prevent pregnancy.

How does spermicide work?

Spermicide is a chemical that you put deep into your vagina right before sex. It prevents pregnancy two ways: blocking the entrance to the cervix so sperm can’t get to your egg, and stopping sperm from moving well enough to swim to your egg.

Spermicide can be used by itself, or combined with other birth control methods. Using spermicide plus a condom gives you extra protection from pregnancy (bonus: condoms prevent STDs, too).

And you need to use spermicide with diaphragms and cervical caps in order for them to work.

Fun fact: the root word “cide” in “spermicide” means “to kill.” Spermicide doesn’t actually “kill” sperm, but it slows it down so it can’t reach an egg.

What are the different kinds of spermicide?

Spermicide comes in many different forms: creams, gels, film, foams, and suppositories (soft inserts that melt into a cream inside your vagina).

There are lots of different spermicide brands and types out there, but they all work in a similar way — blocking the cervix and stopping sperm from moving. The best kind of spermicide to use is the one you like the most.

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  • 71% effective

  • Costs up to $8

  • No prescription required

  • Put it in before sex

Spermicide doesn’t protect you from STDs. Use a condom with it to help stop pregnancy and STDs.
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