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

Correct Use of Spermicides

  • Use clean hands and clean applicator for insertion
  • Follow directions carefully
  • Use for each act of intercourse
  • For maximum effectiveness, use with another barrier method
  • No douching for 6 hours after last act of intercourse

Slide 27


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.

 

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