Choosing a family planning method
Spermicide (foam, jelly, cream, or tablets)
A spermicide is a chemical that kills sperm after it comes out of the penis.
Spermicides are fairly good at preventing pregnancy when used alone, and are
very effective when used with a condom or diaphragm.
WARNING! A woman should use spermicide only if she knows
that her partner does not have HIV.
Most spermicide is made with a chemical called Nonoxynol 9.
Nonoxynol 9 irritates the vagina, causing tiny cuts. These cuts
allow HIV to pass more easily into the blood. So using spermicide,
especially using it very often, may actually make HIV more likely
to pass during sex.
How to use spermicide
The woman puts the spermicide in her vagina. Foam or
jelly is put in with an applicator. Tablets (suppositories)
are put deep in the vagina with the fingers.
Spermicides should be put in the vagina no
more than half an hour before having sex.
Spermicide must be left in the vagina for at least
6 hours after having sex. A woman needs to put cream or jelly
in more spermicide each time she has sex.
Birth control pills, injections, and implants contain hormones. Hormones are
chemicals that a woman’s body normally makes. Hormones regulate many
processes in a woman’s body including her monthly bleeding and her ability to
become pregnant. Hormonal methods of family planning prevent pregnancy by
stopping the woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs into her womb. Some
hormonal methods include:
New hormonal methods are still being invented. Some newer methods are a
contraceptive patch, a ring (worn around the cervix), and a hormonal IUD.
Hormonal methods are very effective in preventing pregnancy. But none of
them used alone protect women against HIV or other STIs.
A Book for Midwives (2010)