Over-the-counterNo hormones

Spermicide

Yes
No
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Over-the-counterNo hormones

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Spermicide comes in many forms, like creams or suppositories, and are usually used with barrier contraceptives to increase the effectiveness of preventing pregnancy.

28%
of people using this method got pregnant in a year
  • No hormones so almost no side effects.
  • Easy to get at pharmacies or online without a prescription.
  • Safe to use while breastfeeding.
  • Can be applied hours before sex (so won't interrupt the moment!).
  • Not very effective at preventing pregnancy when used on its own.
  • Can be hard to remember to use in the heat of the moment.
  • Might make sex messy.
  • Not effective at preventing STDs.
  • Read the instructions! Different brands and forms of spermicide may have different instructions on how to apply and use.
  • Might cause sensitivity or irritate your vagina or your partner's penis.