A spermicide is an aid to contraception that comes in several different forms like gels, foams, creams, suppositories and films. Spermicides are in no way fool proof and hence are recommended for use with another more positive form of contraceptive like a condom, cervical cap or diaphragm.
The spermicide contains an ingredient nonoxymol-9 which is a chemical that immobilizes and kills sperm before they can enter the vagina and upwards to the uterus.
Spermicides are inserted into the vagina between 15 minutes to an hour before intercourse so that they have adequate time to dissolve and spread. The effectiveness of a spermicide is no longer than an hour. If intercourse takes place again, a fresh application of spermicide is required. All forms of spermicide are effective for an hour only and hence it is not of any use with pre-existing sperm unless it comes in contact within its effective duration or one hour. Nonetheless, the spermicide should be left in the female body for at least six to eight hours after intercourse.
Spermicides as a sole form of contraception are comparatively unreliable. A statistical study over a year has revealed that it has failed among 29 percent of couples solely relying on spermicide for protection. This is purely an average. The effectiveness also depends on proper and consistent usage. But spermicides are found to be most effective when used in conjunction with other forms as mentioned above. It is an efficient back up in event of an accident or a failure of a condom, diaphragm or cervical cap.
Spermicides offer no protection at all against sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV. Some women are allergic to the ingredients of spermicide and are likely to break out in infections especially thrush or a yeast infection.
More Articles :