There are numerous options in the world of contraception, from hormonal methods to barrier methods. One approach that is often discussed is the use of spermicides. These chemical substances are designed to inhibit sperm motility and thus reduce the likelihood of pregnancy. But how safe are they really, and are there possibly better alternatives? In this blog post, we take a look at spermicides, their potential side effects and why well-fitting condoms in the right size are a reliable and better alternative.
Spermicides in focus
Spermicides are chemical substances such as nonoxynol-9, which are available in the form of gels, creams, foam or suppositories. Their main purpose is to impair sperm motility or kill the sperm and thus prevent fertilization. In some cases, products are also offered that are based on creating a particularly acidic environment in the vagina and thus purely impairing sperm motility. This is not an actual spermicide by definition, as it does not kill the sperm. These products can be found, for example, as gels containing citric or lactic acid.
Although they are readily available as a contraceptive, spermicides have some potential disadvantages. For example, when used alone they only have a Pearl Index of 3-21, which means that despite using spermicides, between 3 and 21 percent of women will become pregnant within a year. Spermicides also have potential side effects.
Side effects and disadvantages of spermicides
Irritation and allergies: Some people may be sensitive to the chemicals contained in spermicides, which can lead to irritation or allergic reactions in the vaginal area.
Frequent use required: Spermicides must be applied immediately before intercourse, which can potentially interfere with spontaneous intimacy.
Uncertainty if used incorrectly: The effectiveness of spermicides can decrease if they are not applied correctly. This carries the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.
No protection against sexually transmitted diseases: Spermicides do not protect against HIV / AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases
Low effectiveness: If spermicides are used as the sole contraceptive, the reliability is unfortunately low, normally a barrier method such as a diaphragm should also be used.
The better choice: Suitable condoms in the right size
While spermicides may be an option, there is a simple and reliable alternative: condoms of the right size. Here are some reasons why well-fitting condoms in the right size are a better choice than using spermicide:
STD protection: Condoms not only provide an effective barrier against sperm, but also protect against sexually transmitted infections.
No chemical side effects: Unlike spermicides, condoms do not contain any chemical substances that could potentially cause irritation or allergic reactions.
Easy to use: Condoms can be put on in advance, which does not interfere with spontaneous intimacy. They are also easy to use and do not require complicated instructions.
Variety in sizes and materials: Condoms come in different sizes to suit individual needs. A well-fitting condom minimizes the risk of slipping or bursting and ensures a good feeling during sexual intercourse.
It is also important to know that if condoms and spermicide are to be used together, this is often not advisable, as many spermicides are not approved for use with condoms because they can attack the material of condoms and thus ultimately make them less safe.
Spermicides may be an option for some people, but their potential side effects and uncertainty of use do not make them the ideal choice for everyone. Well-fitting condoms in the right size offer a safe, effective and uncomplicated alternative. When choosing a contraceptive, it is important to consider individual needs and preferences. Ultimately, safety comes first and fitting condoms can provide a reliable solution for couples who want to protect against both unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. If the condom fits and is used correctly, condoms offer greater protection against unwanted pregnancies than spermicide, so the use of spermicide is not necessary.