Birth Control Problem Set

Problem 4: Works Well with Condoms

Tutorial to help answer this question

Which of the following methods is more effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases when used in addition to condoms?

A. Withdrawal
B. Cervical cap
C. Spermicides


Vaginal spermicides
Vaginal spermicides are sold in the form of foam, gels, film & suppositories. They work by killing sperm ejaculated into the vagina. They also serve as a barrier and may immobilize sperm.

Spermicides need to be inserted into the vagina about 15-30 minutes before intercourse. Foam and gels are applied with an applicator, suppositories and film are manually inserted into the vagina.

They are convenient and easy to obtain. They also act as a lubricant and STD prevention with any other method. Warning though, some people are allergic to the spermicide and may develop irritation.
Failure rate
The failure rate for preventing unintended pregnancies is 6% to 18% (effective 82% to 94% of the time,) but they offer minimal STD protection. Spermicides are more effective when used with a condom.

The Biology Project
University of Arizona
Tuesday, December 2,1997
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