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