When to Start

  • Any time the client wants.

Explaining How to Use Spermicides

Give spermicide
  • Give as much spermicide as possible—even as much as a year's supply, if available.
Explain how to insert spermicide into the vagina

1. Check the expiration date and avoid using spermicides past their expiration date.

  • Wash hands with mild soap and clean water, if possible.

2. Foam or cream: Shake cans of foam hard. Squeeze spermicide from the can or tube into a plastic applicator. Insert the applicator deep into the vagina, near the cervix, and push the plunger.

Tablets, suppositories, jellies: Insert the spermicide deep into the vagina, near the cervix, with an applicator or with fingers.

Film: Fold film in half and insert with fingers that are dry (or else the film will stick to the fingers and not the cervix).

Explain when to insert spermicide into the vagina
  • Foam or cream: Any time less than one hour before sex.
  • Tablets, suppositories, jellies, film: Between 10 minutes and one hour before sex, depending on type.
Explain about multiple acts of sex
  • Insert additional spermicide before each act of vaginal sex.
Do not wash the vagina (douche) after sex
  • Douching is not recommended because it will wash away the spermicide and also increase the risk of sexually transmitted infections.
  • If you must douche, wait for at least 6 hours after sex before doing so.