Ryan Kirby 6/13/03 Health Period Spermicides Spermicides are used to prevent pregnancy. They were first invented by the ancient Egyptians. The E bers Medical Guide was written by the Egyptians between 1550 and 1500 BC. It tells how they used a tampon sort of material and soaked it in an herbal mixture of acacia, dates, colocynth and honey.

This mixture was supposed to prevent the sperm from fertilizing the egg. When this mixture fermented it produced lactic acid. Modern science shows that lactic acid is a spermicide. This is a chemical that kills sperm.

Modern spermicides come in many different forms. They all are inserted into the woman's vagina to prevent the sperm from fertilizing the egg. You can buy them at any drugstore or supermarket. They are easy to get and you do not need a doctor's prescription. The cost can be anywhere from $. 50 to $1.

50 for each application. They work by covering the sperm cell so it cannot function. It blocks they sperm from getting to the egg. The active ingredient is Nonoxynol-9. This ingredient does give some protection against some STDs. It is not effective against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

They can cause women to have urinary tract infections. To prevent this the female should always urinate after sex. This will help clear any bacteria from the urinary tract. Spermicides can help protect women against cancer of the cervix. There are basically five types of spermicides. Suppositories, jellies, foams, creams, and film.

They are similar in cost and how well they work. The most important thing to remember is that they must put in the vagina before you have sex. You need a new application for each time you have sex. Always follow the directions on the package.

Spermicides can be irritating to the genital area. They should be used with along with a condom or diaphragm. They can be used on their own. If they are used correctly they are 95% effective in preventing pregnancy.

Because they are not always used correctly, the chances of getting pregnant are greater and they may have an only 80% effective rate. Suppositories are small and bullet shaped. They are individually wrapped. They should be unwrapped and inserted as close to the cervix as possible.

They take ten to thirty minutes to melt and become effective. Protection lasts for up to one hour after insertion. Creams must be squeezed into an applicator. The applicator is inserted and emptied into the vagina. The cream must touch the cervix to be effective. Creams start to work as soon as they are inserted.

They last for one hour when used alone. They last for six hours if used with a diaphragm. Jellies come in tubes. They are inserted in the vagina with an applicator, just like the creams. This product must also reach the cervix to work and lasts for one hour.

They begin to work as soon as they are inserted. Foams come in a small container. The foam needs to be shaken for at least twenty shakes. The product is then put into an applicator and inserted into the vagina. This also must reach the cervix to work. It starts to work immediately.

The protection lasts for one hour. Film comes in a square sheet, about two inches by two inches. It is also called "vaginal contraceptive film." It has to be placed on or as close to the cervix as possible. It will start to dissolve as soon as it comes in contact with the body. It takes fifteen minutes to melt and become effective. It is hard to insert and can stick to the fingers when you are trying to insert it.

It lasts for one hour.