Almost all ´traditional' spermicides contain nonoxynol-9, a relatively toxic chemical surfactant found in detergents. When N-9 is doing it's job right, it is breaking down the cell walls of the sperm, making them totally impotent.
But it's breaking down more then just sperm cells. It also breaks down cells of the vagina wall and the penis leading to irritation. Even more, N-9 also kills beneficial bacteria and skin cells, disrupting the vaginal flora and leaving you susceptible to yeast infections and UTIs.
Besides the common rashes and itchiness reported by both men and women after using spermicide, we know that what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in it. The delicate skin in our vagina readily absorbs whatever we put on it, so that nonoxynol-9 directly enters our blood stream, spreading toxins throughout our entire body.
Nonoxynol-9 (N-9) is the most common active ingredient in spermicide, including for example, Gygel. Spermicides which contain N-9 come in many forms such as gels, films and foams. Nonoxynol-9 is an organic compound that is used as a surfactant and is a member of nonoxynol family of nonionic surfactants. Cleaning and cosmetic products often contain N-9 and related compounds.
When researchers observed nonoxynol-9’s ability to kill microbes in vitro, they initially thought it could be used to prevent the transmission of sexual transmitted diseases (STDs). Recent research however, has found that N-9 might actually increase a person’s risk of contracting STDs, especially when frequently used. Researchers came to this conclusion after noticing that the harsh chemicals in N-9 causes tiny abrasions inside the sensitive vaginal and anal walls.