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
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.