Medically sound information on sexual health. Contraception Benzaltex Spermicide

Benzaltex Spermicide

What is it?

The spermicide is a product which destroys spermatozoa. It is placed inside the vagina before sexual intercourse.It must be used regardless of the cycle, even during menstruation.

It exists in various forms:

  • a tube of cream with applicator or single dose w pessaries
  • capsules or tablets
  • sponges (tampons).

Certain forms are effective immediately, whilst others only react 5 to 15 minutes after they have been used. Sponges can stay in place for up to 24 hours and permit sexual intercourse several times. Read carefully information given with the packaging.

Spermicides in various forms are not always available in Switzerland. Ask at the chemist.

For all of these products, it is important not to use soap of any type (foam, gel etc.) 2 hours before sexual intercourse (for both partners) and during the entire time of contraceptive protection when using this product. 

Respect directions concerning the use of soap: the effectiveness of the product depends on it.

  • Soap destroys the contraceptive action of the product.
  • Bathing cancels out the effectiveness of the product.
  • An external shower with pure water, or a recommended product by the manufacturer, is authorised.


  • Other spermicides exist which are not destroyed by soap though used alone they are inefficient. The addition of another form of contraception (condom or diaphragm) is advisable if used.
  • The benzalkonium spermicide equally acts as a disinfectant. 

Good to know

  • The best way to protect yourself from HIV or other sexually transmitted infections is to practise safer sex:
    1. Always use a condom, male or female, for penetrative sex (vaginal or anal sex).
    2. For more personal sexual advice, do the safer sex check on

2018, SANTÉ SEXUELLE SUISSE, Fondation suisse pour la santé sexuelle et reproductive; ALECSS Association suisse latine des spécialistes en santé sexuelle, Éducation – Formation – Conseil; faseg, Fachverband sexuelle Gesundheit in Beratung und Bildung

Do you have any questions?

Doctors in your local sexual health service centre will answer your questions in confidentiality. They are there to help you find the best way to deal with your situation.

More information