Spermicidal lubricants are lubricants that contain chemicals that kill or damage sperm severely enough to keep them from uniting with the egg and causing fertilization. They also work by physically creating a barrier around the cervix that prevents sperm from passing to the egg. Most spermicidal lube contains a compound called nonxynol, sometimes referred to as N-9. Spermicide does not offer the most effective form of contraception; Planned Parenthood reports that spermicide has a fifteen percent failure rate when used perfectly according to the directions and a twenty-nine percent failure rate when used imperfectly according to the directions. Nevertheless, spermicide is a helpful option if it is the only contraception available and it works very effectively when used in conjunction with latex, polyurethane or female condoms or other contraceptive methods like prescription birth control pills.
Spermicidal lubes are beneficial because they double as vaginal lubricants, making sexual activity more pleasurable. They are also inexpensive, average about eight dollars per packet, and they are discreet, being able to be easily carried in a pocket or purse prior to use. Spermicidal lube is completely non-toxic and safe to use while breast-feeding, unlike some contraceptive methods that affect female hormones, which spermicide does not. Spermicidal lube does not require a custom fitting or doctor’s consultation like some contraceptives as it is easy to buy without a prescription and spermicidal lubricants are often offered for free at some health clinics.
It is important to use spermicidal lube correctly for it to be most effective; many women fail to use spermicide properly because it can easily be obtained from a drugstore without a prescription and therefore the customer does not receive explicit usage instructions from a doctor. Spermicidal lube should be inserted into the vagina prior to sexual activity or intercourse and should ideally be left to sit and begin to work for about ten to fifteen minutes before intercourse begins. Some couples find spermicidal lube to be messy during application and sometimes leaks during sexual activity, but overall it is an easy contraceptive method to use as far as application goes and it is fairly effective if used correctly. Spermicidal lubricants also begin to lose their efficacy after an hour, so it is essential that you reapply. Women should not douche or excessively wash themselves within six hours of using spermicidal lube, as it significantly affects the efficacy of the chemicals which often take a few hours to kill sperm. Some spermicidal lubricants can cause allergic reactions or skin irritations, but a simple solution to this that usually works is just to switch brands of spermicidal lube. Whether used by themselves or with other lubricants or contraceptives, spermicidal lubricants offer an easy to way to make your sexual play safer and more appealing.