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Effectiveness: 71-82%

Chemicals that kill or immobilize sperm present in the vagina after ejaculation. Spermicide is less effective than other barrier methods and much less effective than hormonal methods of contraception. It prevents pregnancy by immobilizing or killing sperm cells before they enter the uterus.


Availability: Over the counter, no prescription needed

Cause of Failures:

  • Not enough spermicide applied
  • Not applied 15 minutes before intercourse
  • Not reapplied before every act of intercourse
  • Allergies to spermicides
  • May cause condom breakage

STI Prevention: None