Ensure client understands correct use
  • Ask the client to repeat how and when to insert her spermicide.
Describe the most common side effects
  • Itching and irritation in or around the vagina or penis.
Explain about emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs)
  • Explain ECP use in case the spermicide is not used at all or is not used properly (see Emergency Contraceptive Pills). Give her ECPs, if available.
Explain about storage
  • Spermicides should be stored in a cool, dry place, if possible, out of the sun. Suppositories may melt in hot weather. If kept dry, foaming tablets are not as likely to melt in hot weather.
How Can a Partner Help?

The client’s partner is welcome to participate in counseling and learn about the method and what support he can give to his partner. A male partner can:

  • Support a woman’s choice of spermicides or diaphragm with spermicide
  • Discuss and agree to use spermicides with a full understanding of how to use them
  • Help her to remember to use spermicides or diaphragm with spermicide every time
  • Help to keep a supply of spermicide on hand
  • Help to make sure the woman has ECPs on hand in case the spermicide or the diaphragm is not used or the diaphragm got dislodged
  • Use condoms consistently in addition to spermicides or diaphragm with spermicide if he has an STI/HIV or thinks he may be at risk of an STI/HIV