Vaginal spermicide is a type of contraceptive which needs to be inserted in the vagina. It works by damaging the sperm in the vagina and as a result the sperm is not able to penetrate the egg and fertilization is avoided.
To make spermicide more effective in preventing pregnancy it is better to use it with some other form of birth control because spermicide by itself is not a very successful method for birth control.
All the spermicides are effective only up to one hour after inserting them and if sex is had after an hour of inserting spermicide, a pregnancy may also occur.
There are many forms of spermicides. While some spermicides are made specifically for use with diaphragms, cervical caps, and IUDs, others are used alone.
Nonoxynol-9 is the most active chemical used in spermicides of all forms, namely cream, film, foam, gel, jelly and suppositories. There other chemicals which are also used in spermicides include benzalkonium chloride and octoxynol-9.
The most commonly known brands of spermicides available are Advantage 24, Conceptrol Gel, Crinone, Delfen, Mirena, Emko, Encare, Prochieve, Prometrium, K-Y plus, Semicid, Shur-Seal, and VCF. These spermicides are very easy to obtain as they can be bought without prescription and are available in any pharmacy over-the-counter. They are also available in supermarkets.
Spermicides can be used for extra protection, but cannot be relied upon for preventing pregnancy by itself, since the success of birth control methods for different individuals depends on various things other than the birth control method itself. It is best to discuss with the doctor and then decide the best suited birth control method.
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