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Birth Control Spermicides

What Are Birth Control Spermicides?

  • Spermicides are chemical barriers to conception.
  • They are a reversible method of birth control, meaning that when a woman quits using them, full fertility returns.
  • Vaginal spermicides are available in forms such as foam, cream, jelly, film, suppository, or tablet.
  • Spermicides are not as effective as many other forms of birth control when used alone.
  • They are often used with barrier methods of birth control and are much more effective when used in this context.

How Spermicides Work

  • Spermicides contain a chemical that kills sperm or makes them inactive so they cannot enter a woman’s cervix.
  • Nonoxynol-9 is the active chemical in most spermicide products in the United States.
  • The concentration of the chemical depends on the product.

Obtaining Spermicides

  • Several brands and types of spermicides are available over the counter.
  • They can be obtained at drugstores, some supermarkets, and family planning clinics.
  • Planned Parenthood lists the cost of applicator kits for foam and gel at about $8, and refills at about $4-8. Film and suppositories are priced similarly. 
  • In some states, the cost is covered by Medicaid when provided by clinics or authorized by a private doctor.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/20/2017
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Patient Comments & Reviews

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Birth Control Spermicide - Patient Experience

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Birth Control Spermicides - Benefits and Drawbacks

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