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Birth Control Briefing

Birth Control Menu continued...

Pros:

  • Relatively cheap
  • Easy to get
  • Can reduce the chance of pregnancy and STIs

Cons:

  • Difficult and awkward to use
  • More expensive than male condoms
  • It makes noise!

Spermicides
Sounds like pesticides, right? Same idea—spermicides kill sperm. Most contain the chemical nonoxynol-9. You apply them to your vagina in various ways: foams, gels, films, or suppositories/inserts. Spermicides must be used in conjunction with condoms—just using spermicide alone won’t protect you from STIs and provides only some protection against pregnancy.

Pros:

  • When used with condoms, very effective at contraception and reducing STIs
  • Cheap
  • Easily available
  • No prescription needed

Cons:

  • Nonoxynol-9 can irritate the vagina.
  • There’s no guarantee that all sperm will be blocked or killed with nonoxynol-9 and condoms—and it only takes ONE little sperm to get you pregnant.
  • Some studies suggest nonoxynol-9 can increase the chances of getting HIV due to irritation of the vagina.

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