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Spermicides, Foams, Jellies & Sponge

What are they?

     Foams, jellies and sponges are designed as barriers containing spermicidal chemicals. Foams and jellies dissolve themselves, while the sponge must be physically removed.

How do these prevent pregnancy?

     They cover the cervix to prevent sperm from entering the uterus, placing a barrier between the sperm and the egg. You'll also hear them called vaginal spermicides meaning they kill sperm.

How effective are these methods?

     These chemical/barrier methods are about 80-95% effective when used on their own, but are best when used with condoms or diaphragms.
Did you know that foam with a condom is almost 100% effective?

How and when are they used?

     Insert foam and jellies into the vagina BEFORE intercourse, with an applicator (similar to inserting tablets/creams to treat yeast infections). They are effective immediately but for only 30 minutes.

     Another filled application must be used if more than 30 minutes have passed, or if the condom broke.

     Some newer spermicides are effective for as many as 24 hours! These also offer some protection from the transmission of STIs, including HIV.

     Only ONE act of intercourse is possible with each filled applicator. An additional insertion of spermicide is required each time intercourse is repeated.

Related Links
Information & Symptoms
Common STD's
The Pill
Male Condoms
Female Condoms
Contraceptive Sponges
Vaginal Contraceptive Film (VCF)
Emergency Birth Control