A spermicide is a substance that kills sperm; it is placed into
the vagina to prevent pregnancy. Spermicides do not protect against sexually
transmitted infections or HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). Spermicides are most
effective when they are used with a barrier method, such as a condom or
Spermicides are available as jelly, foam, cream,
vaginal suppositories, and film. Most spermicides come with an applicator. The
applicator is filled with spermicide and then inserted into a vagina right
A spermicide film or suppository is inserted
deep into the vagina close to the cervix. Film or suppositories must be
inserted at least 15 minutes before intercourse to allow the spermicide to
dissolve and spread in the vagina.
One application of spermicide
is used for each act of sexual intercourse.