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Contraception, STDs

Are condoms with spermicide a good idea?

You are standing in the grocery store staring at the overwhelming selection of condoms. The last time you had sex there was an unfortunate incident involving breakage and you are eager to avoid the pregnancy panic and STD scare that ensued. You look at the condoms with spermicide thinking that extra-protection sounds like a good idea right now.

After all, condoms without spermicide reduce your chance of getting gonorrhea and chlamydia by almost 100%, reduce your risk of catching HIV by 87%, reduce your chance of getting HPV (the virus that causes cervical cancer and genital warts) by 70%, and reduce your chance of getting herpes by 30%. Condoms with spermicide must be even better, right?

Wrong.

Condoms with spermicide are no more effective than condoms with regular lube at preventing STDs.

Condoms with spermicide are also more expensive and haveĀ a shorter shelf-life.

And here’s the big kicker. Spermicide is essentially caustic (that’s how it kills those little buggers). Therefore, it damages the ecosystem and delicate skin of the vagina (it’s a secret garden in there, boys). Because of this, condoms with spermicide actually increase a woman’s risk of getting a bladder infection and can damage local defense mechanisms enough that the risk of catching an STD actually increases!

So ditch the condoms with spermicide. Ladies, use a back up method of contraception (such as the birth control pill or carrying Plan B in your purse). And your back up method for not getting an STD for both men and women? Avoid casual hook ups and insist that your partner be tested for HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, and syphilis before penetration. Ask to see the PDF with his/her name. Not sexy you say? Having a partner of who cares enough to make sure they are clean so they don’t give you an STD is way sexier than chlamydia. Just saying.

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Discussion

3 thoughts on “Are condoms with spermicide a good idea?

  1. Interesting post. Your explanation of spermicide makes a lot of sense. I discovered a long time ago – and very quickly – that I react badly to spermicide. It turns a fun time into a horrifically painful experience. (Think getting intimate with a red hot poker.) I don’t see how that stuff could be good for anyone.

    Posted by LoriNKY | May 30, 2011, 7:32 pm
  2. I don’t really get why you go into spermicide being ineffective at preventing the contracting of STDs when their purpose is to prevent pregnancy, not preventing STDs. As someone in a committed relationship, I’m much less concerned about getting an STD than I am about getting pregnant. I cannot go on birth control for other medical reasons, so it seems to me that spermicide in condoms is in fact a good idea.

    Posted by Elle | June 22, 2013, 2:52 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: What is the most effective method of birth control? « Dr. Jen Gunter - August 11, 2011

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