Hand sanitizers contain methanol, toxic alcohol that can have adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting, and headache when a good amount is used on the skin.(1)
Spermicides are the type of contraceptive designed to kill sperms. They are safely inserted into the vagina before sex, as a contraceptive. They are most effective when used with another birth control method.
Some common household products such as hand sanitizers can harm sperms. But this does not mean they can be used as contraceptives.
Can Hand Sanitizers Harm Sperms?
Sperms travel in viscous fluids called semen that contains nutrients to keep the sperm healthy. Semen also plays a role in protecting the sperms from the acidic environment of the vagina.
Sperms become fragile in the wrong type of environment.
There are many types of chemicals used in our often used household products that can harm the sperms.
For example, hand sanitizers contain isopropyl alcohol, glycerine, and a few harsh compounds. Just like hand sanitizers kill germs they can kill sperms too.
Sanitizers Cannot Be Used As Spermicides
One of the main ingredients used in hand sanitizer is isopropyl alcohol.
Hand sanitizer kills the sperms, but that does not mean it can be used as a spermicide. Isopropyl is not safe for internal use.(2)
Therefore, hand sanitizer should only be used to sanitize hands, and should never be applied to the penis or the vagina.
None of the household chemicals should be used in and around the vagina. These are the sensitive areas and products containing harmful chemicals might cause burning and irritation.
Similarly, the skin of the penis is very sensitive. Never use any harsh chemicals to clean it.
Sanitizer being able to eliminate sperm should never be considered to be used in the place of spermicides. Hand sanitizer can never be an acceptable alternative to it in any situation. It can damage the fragile outer skin of the penis and the inner tissue of the vagina.
Stick to spermicides for birth control and leave the hand sanitizers for the purpose you know it is used for i.e. sanitizing hands.
Other household chemicals such as vinegar, hand soaps, body wash, bleach, and disinfectants should not be used internally, as they can cause similar harm.(3)
Other Harmful Effects Of Sanitizers
Sanitizers should only be used if there is no soap and water to clean the hand. Apart from harming the sperms and affecting the skin of the penis and vagina, hand sanitizers have other negatives to add to the list.
- They can increase the risk of eczema
- They can make the skin irritated(4)
- They can affect fertility
- They might even cause resistance to certain antibiotics(5)
- Hand sanitizer can lead to hormone problems
- Affect the immune system
- Affect the body’s development
- They can lead to skin disorders
Hand sanitizers are used for killing bacteria on the skin. They should be used only when required. Clean hand with soap and water wherever you can. If these are not available then only use sanitizers.
It is a commonly used household product that can harm sperms.
Note: Use the sanitizers only to clean the hands and no other use.