Contraceptive Technology and Reproductive Health Series: Home Page Contraceptive Technology and Reproductive Health Series Back to FHI Website
Barrier Methods
Introduction Contents Post-Test References Go To Presenter Info

Goals

Section 1
Section 2

- Information
- Objectives
- Male Condom
- Properties
- Latex
- Plastic
- Correct Use
- Breakage
- Behaviors
- Cautions
- Protection
- Female
- Characteristics
- Use
- Spermicides
> Characteristics
- Correct Use
- Preferences
- Diaphragm
- Characteristics
- Considerations
- Correct Use
- Fitting
- Follow-up
- Sponge
- New Methods

Section 3

Summary

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Section 2 - Method Information

Characteristics of Spermicides

  • Prevent transmission of gonorrhea and chlamydia
  • May cause abrasions with repeated use in a short time
  • Can be stored for long periods of time
  • Can be messy, cause mild discomfort or minor allergic reaction
  • Can lead to yeast and urinary tract infections in women

Slide 26


N-9 spermicides help prevent the transmission of gonorrhea and chlamydia. Some studies suggest that N-9 also reduces the risk of other STDs, including bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis and herpes.

Although N-9 kills HIV in laboratory tests, studies involving humans are not conclusive. It has been reported that repeated N-9 use in a short period of time, such as multiple times in one day, may cause vaginal and cervical abrasions. These abrasions could, in theory, increase the risk of HIV transmission. Use of spermicides alone is not currently recommended as a means of preventing HIV infection. Further studies are in progress.

Most spermicides can be stored for up to five years without affecting their reliability. However, like most products, they usually have an expiration date printed on the packages and may be damaged if stored in excessively hot conditions.

Spermicides can be used shortly before intercourse. Some spermicidal products can be messy and cause vaginal wetness for several hours after use. Some can produce a minor allergic reaction, causing irritation or a burning sensation for some men and women. This may be mildly uncomfortable but is normally not harmful and disappears once spermicide use is discontinued. Also, some women who use suppositories or foaming tablets report a warm sensation in the vagina as the tablets dissolve. This is not harmful. Spermicide use over time can increase the number of yeast and urinary tract infections among women, and the incidence of bacterial vaginosis.

 

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