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There are different types of spermicide, so check the directions that come in the package. If you don’t use spermicide correctly, it won’t work as well.

How to use spermicide

Inserting spermicide into your vagina is usually pretty easy — it’s similar to putting in a tampon.

First, check the expiration date. Relax and get into a comfortable position — you can stand with one foot on a chair, lie down, or squat — then gently insert the cream, film, foam, gel, or suppository deep into your vagina using your fingers or the applicator that came in the package.

There are many types of spermicide that come with slightly different instructions, so read the directions that come in the package to make sure you’re doing everything right.

Can I use spermicide with condoms?

Yes! Spermicide won’t damage condoms — they’re best buddies and work really well together. Condoms give your spermicide an extra punch of pregnancy-preventing power. And spermicide can’t protect you from STDs, but adding a condom will help keep you safe.

How long does spermicide last? 

Timing is important when it comes to spermicide. Some spermicide isn’t effective right away and must be put in your vagina at least 10-15 minutes before sex. And many spermicides are only effective for 1 hour after you put them in your vagina. If you’re going to have sex more than once, you’ll need to add more spermicide. But using spermicide several times a day can cause irritation that increases your risk for STDs, so it’s a good idea to use condoms to protect yourself.

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Spermicide and Gel

  • 79% or 86% effective

  • Costs up to $270, but can be $0

  • No prescription required (except for Phexxi)

  • Put it in before sex

Spermicide and gel don't protect you from STDs. Use a condom with them to help stop pregnancy and STDs.
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