Spermicide comes in a variety of forms including gels, vaginal suppositories and contraceptive film. The spermicide disables sperm from entering the uterus and causing fertilization of an egg, or pregnancy, to occur. The contraceptive has a success rate of 71 percent; this means that out of 100 adults using spermicide for contraception, 29 will result in a pregnancy. Some condoms are lubricated with spermicide gel to decrease the risk of pregnancy. Spermicides all have the common ingredient nonoxynol-9. A variety of side effects of using spermicide can occur.
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The vagina lining or penis may become irritated when spermicide is present. The skin or delicate vaginal tissue may become inflamed and sore. A person may see redness on the penis’s skin, and stinging can occur. Some men and women may also experience an allergic reaction to nonoxynol-9. If symptoms continue to occur when using spermicide, a different birth control is recommended.
Increased Risk of STDs
When used during anal and vaginal sex, spermicide can increase the chance of open sores. Sores can appear in the vaginal canal, in the anus and on the penis. Because sores expose bodily fluids, such as blood, there is an increased risk of transmitting HIV and other STDs. Using condoms lubricated with spermicide is not recommended when participating in anal sexual intercourse.
Increased Risk of UTIs
Spermicides disrupt normal bacteria in the vagina and urethra, according to The Mayo Clinic. There is an increased risk of women contracting a urinary tract infection when using spermicide. Signs of a UTI include increased urgency to urinate, foul urine odor and pain upon urination. UTI can travel through the urethra and infect the bladder and kidney. Though not common, hospitalization can be required if the infection becomes severe enough.