Can Spermicides Damage, But Not Kill, Sperm? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-05-2008, 02:15 AM - Thread Starter
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My husband and I are researching birth control options. Hormonal contraceptives, IUDs, and sterilization are not options for us (for various reasons), so basically that leaves natural family planning and barrier methods. I am planning to chart my cycle when it returns after the birth of our baby (due in a few weeks), but after two closely-spaced pregnancies, we'd really like to wait at least two years before conceiving again, so we're hoping for something a little "safer" than just natural family planning.

Condoms aren't my favorite, so I would like to try some kind of diaphragm or cervical cap, but all the information I've found regarding them says that they are to be used with spermicides. I seem to remember reading somewhere that there is a possibility that spermicides could potentially damage sperm without killing them, and if a damaged sperm happened to fertilize an egg, it would be likely to cause birth defects. Has anyone heard anything about this? Is it a big enough risk that it's worth avoiding spermicides altogether? Are there any other options I haven't thought of (other than abstinence!)?

Happily married for 11 years. 9 year old son, 7 year old daughter, 5 year old daughter, and baby daughter.
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#2 of 5 Old 04-05-2008, 06:02 PM
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This is what I have read....that spermicides can damage the sperm, they can live and actually meet the egg for conception.
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#3 of 5 Old 04-06-2008, 12:14 AM
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I haven't researched the topic much, so take this as it is. I would use the cervical cap, and listen to your body. start charting right away, (checking CF and CP and temp) and if you suspect fertility dubble up with a condom (if you are ok with that). When ppaf comes back, you should be able to accurately chart your cycles to the point of avoiding pregnancy until desired. GL. I hope someone else can give you more info.

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#4 of 5 Old 04-06-2008, 12:18 AM
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I know dh had that concern when I got pg with dd#2 while using a diaphragm and spermicide. I asked my CNW who didn't think there was any research to support that, but it was 8 yrs ago. I never really did any further research, so I can't say if what she told me was correct. I can say that I have a healthy 7 1/2 year old daughter who was conceived that way and she has no birth defects or other problems and, oh, diaphragms and spermicide are apparently only about 80% effective. I was in the 20% !
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#5 of 5 Old 04-06-2008, 12:54 AM
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I use a diaphragm and thought about this. the thing is, any lubricant, marketed as spermicidal or nonspermicidal, has a spermicidal effect because of the pH. If there were a huge risk of deformed sperm causing birth defects or miscarriage, I think we'd have a marked interest in it by now. There is conflicting information about it, but the things I have read that say there is an increased risk of birth defects doesn't convince me.

also, a couple of decades ago, it was thought by some that old sperm (ie if you were using NFP to avoid and conceived 6 days prior to ovulation) led to an increased risk of miscarriage. A later study found that wasn't the case.

For me, there wasn't enough evidence for me to not use a diaphragm or FAM.
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