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Jun 30, 2001

I don't like the spermicide condoms. I just don't like the thought of that stuff in me. I have two questions... Spermicide can't harm me (a female) right? I mean, it can't do anything to me right? And also, is there another type of condom that can kill sperm? something besides spermicide?

Response from Mr. Kull

The primary harm that spermicides can cause is irritation to the lining of the mucous membranes: specifically the lining of the vagina, urethra, and rectum. The irritation may or may not cause discomfort, but no long term complications are indicated. The spermicides, nonoxynol-9, which is found in lubricants made for sexual intercourse, is not currently recommended for disease prevention. Nonoxynol-9 demonstrates that it kills sperm and HIV in test tubes, but a recent study has discovered that the small amount on nonoxynol-9 on condoms and in lube actually may increase the risk of infection in some people. Irritation to the mucous membranes is likely to increase one's risk for infection when exposed to HIV. The small amounts of N-9 probably do not have enough effect on inactivating HIV. Spermicides are still effective in birth control.

Until more is known about spermicides for disease prevention (which are more accurately known as microbicides), it is probably best that you use condoms and lubrication that do not contain N-9. See my response to "Spermicides" ( for more info.


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