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McKinley Health Center

How to Use a Condom and Spermicidal Jelly for Intercourse

Condoms are used to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s). No method offers 100% protection, except abstaining from all sexual behaviors, including oral sex, vaginal sex, and anal sex, genital touching/rubbing, etc. Condoms are between 85-98% effective in preventing pregnancy. Effectiveness rates are highest when condoms are used correctly and consistently. Although we do not have statistics on the effectiveness ratings of condoms in preventing STD’s, we do know that using condoms every time you have sex significantly reduces your risk of contracting an STD. Some STD’s may not be covered by the condom, such as herpes sores or HPV. However, using a condom reduces your risk significantly for these infections and others, and they are recommended for those who are sexually active.

Illustration depicting covering the head of the penis with a condom, while pinching air out of the reservoir tip, prior to any penil to vaginal, oral or anal contact. Illustration depicting rolling the condom to the base of the penis while still pinching the reservoir tip. Illustration depicting removal of the condom immediately after ejaculation.

Lubrication vs. Spermicidal Jelly: How Do I Decide?
There are two types of lubrication designed to be used for sex: one which contains a sperm killing agent or spermicide and one that does not. Spermicide can cause irritation to the vagina or rectum and therefore can increase a person's likelihood of becoming infected with a sexually transmissible disease or HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Spermicide is not recommended for some individuals. To help you decide which product is best for you, follow these guidelines:

Spermicidal Jelly
Best suited for couples involved in a long term, monogamous relationship who are both negative for STD’s and use only condoms as their method of birth control. For these couples, there is no risk for a sexually transmissible disease because the relationship is monogamous and the spermicide will provide additional protection against pregnancy. Spermicidal jelly does offer lubrication as well. If you experience any discomfort, irritation or reaction to spermicide, discontinue use. You may want to consider using a lubrication that does not contain spermicide.

How to Use Spermicidal Jelly for Vaginal Intercourse


Lubrication Instructions for Use
Using additional lubrication during intercourse has many benefits. Lubrication can ease penetration, increase pleasure and reduce the likelihood of condom breakage. This lubrication does not contain Non-Oxyonol 9, a sperm-killing agent and can be used by couples who are planning a pregnancy and for those who may have allergic reactions or irritations to Non-Oxyonol 9.

Lubrication does not provide any protection against pregnancy or sexually transmissible diseases (STD's).

For Vaginal Intercourse
Insert one applicator of lubrication into the vaginal canal prior to intercourse. If drying or friction occurs during penetration, stop and insert another applicator full into the vaginal canal. You may also rub lubrication onto the penis, sex toy or around the opening of the vagina. Lubrication may also be used when stimulating the vagina with a finger(s).

For Anal Intercourse
Insert one applicator full into the rectum prior to intercourse. Use a finger to apply additional lubrication around the anus. You may also rub lubrication onto the penis or sex toy being inserted into the rectum. If drying or friction occurs, stop and insert another applicator full of lubrication.

Helpful Suggestions

Things to Remember

For sexuality information or consultation, call the Sexuality Education Coordinator at: 333-2714.

To obtain condoms or spermicide, visit the Health Resource Centers at: McKinley Health Center, Information/HRC counter, located in the Main Lobby, (333-6000) or Illini Union/CLASS, Room 40, lower level (244-5994).

Hatcher, R., et. al, (2004) Contraceptive Technology, 18th Revised edition

If you are a registered University of Illinois student and you have questions or concerns,
or need to make an appointment, please call: Dial-A-Nurse at 333-2700


If you are concerned about any difference in your treatment plan and the information in this handout,

you are advised to contact your health care provider.


Visit the McKinley Health Center Web site at:

HEd. IV-005

© The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, 2014.



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