- Use clean hands and clean applicator for insertion
- Follow directions carefully
- Use for each act of intercourse
- For maximum effectiveness, use with another
- No douching for 6 hours after last act of
Spermicides should be placed high into the vagina, near the
cervix, to provide maximum contraceptive protection. Foams,
jellies and creams are effective as soon as inserted and require
no waiting time. However, suppositories, tablets and film do
require a waiting time, which varies from five to 15 minutes.
The waiting period allows the spermicide to dissolve and disperse
throughout the vagina. Once inserted, spermicides are effective
for one to two hours.
Creams, jellies and foam require an applicator for insertion.
Jelly and cream should be squeezed into the applicator until
loaded to the proper level.
Foam containers should be shaken before loading the applicator
to the proper level. Film, tablets and suppositories are inserted
into the vagina by hand. Women should have clean, dry hands
and a clean applicator when they insert spermicidal products.
Because directions vary among products, proper counseling about
each method is important. For example, film must be folded in
half and inserted with dry fingers, or the film will stick to
the fingers and not to the cervix.
If there are repeat acts of intercourse in the same sexual
encounter, additional spermicide must be added for each act.
They can be used during menstruation. For maximum effectiveness,
a spermicide should be used with another barrier method, such
as a diaphragm or condom. After intercourse, a woman may wash
outside the vagina but should not douche for at least six hours.