Barrier Methods of Birth Control

Home » Women's Health News » Barrier Methods of Birth Control

Barrier methods of birth control work to keep sperm from reaching an egg in your uterus and causing pregnancy. Many women like them because they have no effect on their hormones like birth control pills do. You can also use barrier methods if you are breastfeeding, as they will have no effect on your milk supply. Plus many of them are low cost, easy to get, and don’t require a doctor’s visit. They can also protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

But they also have some disadvantages. They are not as effective at preventing pregnancy as other methods such as birth control implants and injections or IUDs. You also need to use them correctly every time you have sex.

Read on to learn more about the different barrier methods of birth control. If you have any questions about which one might be best for your lifestyle, make an appointment to talk with your doctor.

Spermicide

What is it? A chemical that inactivates sperm. It is available in different forms, including foams, creams, gels, suppositories, and films that are inserted into the vagina close to the cervix. You can use it alone or with other barrier methods.

Advantages:

  • Easy to use
  • Available in many stores
  • Low cost
  • Can be used immediately after childbirth

Disadvantages:

  • May cause vaginal irritation
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs

Condom

What is it? A thin sheath (male) or plastic pouch (female) that prevents sperm from entering the uterus and fertilizing an egg. Used with a spermicide, it provides the best protection against pregnancy and STIs.

Advantages:

  • Available in many stores
  • Low cost
  • Can be used immediately after childbirth
  • Provides protection against STIs

Disadvantages:

  • May tear or break if used without a lubricant
  • Some people are allergic to the latex or polyurethane that condoms are made of and have a reaction

Sponge

What is it? A small, soft foam device that contains spermicide. Inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix, it inactivates sperm and keeps it from entering the uterus.

Advantages:

  • Can be inserted up to 24 hours before sex
  • Doesn’t have to be replaced to have sex again within 24 hours
  • Available in many stores

Disadvantages:

  • Doesn’t protect against STIs
  • May cause vaginal irritation from the spermicide or the polyurethane in the sponge
  • Can potentially cause toxic shock syndrome

Diaphragm

What is it? A small, dome shaped device made of latex or silicone that fits over the end of the cervix. Used with spermicide to inactivate the sperm, it helps to block the sperm from reaching the uterus.

Advantages:

  • Can be inserted hours before sex (the number depends on your type of diaphragm – the instructions will tell you) and left in place for 24 hours total, even if you have sex more than once

Disadvantages:

  • Needs to be fitted by your doctor
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs
  • Must wait until about 6 weeks after giving birth to use
  • May cause vaginal irritation from the spermicide
  • May increase the risk of a urinary tract infection
  • Can potentially cause toxic shock syndrome

Cervical Cap

What is it? A small plastic dome that fits snugly over the cervix. It keeps sperm from entering the uterus. It needs to be used with spermicide.

Advantages:

  • It can be inserted up to 40 hours before sex and left in place for 48 hours total, even if you have sex more than once

Disadvantages:

  • Needs to be fitted by your doctor
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs
  • Must wait until about 6 weeks after giving birth to use
  • May cause vaginal irritation
  • Can potentially cause toxic shock syndrome

There are many different options for barrier methods of birth control available. Talk to your doctor for help with the right one for you.

Comments are closed.

Address

Cheyenne Women’s Clinic
3952 Parkview Dr.
Cheyenne, WY 82001

We are located at the corner of Parkview and College,
one block south of Dell Range.

Hours: Mon-Thurs 8-5 | Fri 8-3
Phone: 307-637-7700


Driving Directions

Women’s Health News

Facebook Feed

And it seems like no matter which stage they're in, you miss it when they move to the next one. (illustration from Oh yes I would) ... See MoreSee Less

5 days ago  ·  

View on Facebook
Website Design by Sage Marketing Group.