Over-the-counterNo hormones


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Our 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.

What’s the failure rate?
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.

Common concerns from people using Spermicide

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