[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 7, 1982

Birth Defects and Vaginal Spermicides

Author Affiliations

From the Drug Epidemiology Unit, School of Public Health, Boston University School of Medicine, Cambridge, Mass (Drs Shapiro, Slone, Rosenberg, and Mitchell, Mr Kaufman, and Ms Helmrich), the Department of Epidemiology. University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland (Dr Heinonen), and the Department of Pediatrics, Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Harvard Medical School, Boston (Dr Mitchell).

JAMA. 1982;247(17):2381-2384. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320420031027

In a cohort study of 50,282 pregnancies recruited between 1958 and 1965, there were 462 gravidae who used nonmercurial spermicides (mostly nonoxynol-9 and octoxynol); the estimated rate ratio for major malformations was 0.9 (95% confidence limits, 0.6 to 1.6). There were also 889 women who used phenylmercuric acetate (no longer available as a spermicide); the corresponding rate ratio was 0.9 (0.6 to 1.3). Limb reduction deformities, neoplasms, Down's syndrome, and hypospadias did not occur in excess in children exposed to spermicides.

(JAMA 1982;247:2381-2384)