Categories: Family Planning

Some spermicides might cause genital irritation, which increases the likelihood of STD transmission.

Fact! Using a spermicide can actually increase your risk for infections because it irritates the cells that protect you from infection. This weakens those cells and makes you more susceptible to bacteria. For this reason, spermicides are not recommended for individuals who are at high risk of contracting an STD.

The greatest disadvantages of spermicides are:

  • It has to be used correctly and according to the instructions on the label.
  • It has to be reapplied each time you have sex.
  • It doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • It may cause irritation and pain.
  • It can increase your risk of getting HIV infection.
  • It has been linked to increased urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Contact your healthcare provider if you’re using a spermicide and experience the following:

  • Foul-smelling or oddly colored vaginal discharge.
  • Rash or sores on the vagina.
  • Painful urination.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain.
  • Painful sex.