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 Barrier Contraceptives (Birth Control)

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Note: Information provided on this page is for reference only, please seek medical assistance when in doubt

Term Barrier in birth control refers to various protective devices use to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Barrier contraceptives are devices that attempt to prevent pregnancy by physically preventing sperm from entering the uterus. Most common barrier devices are male condoms, female condoms, cervical caps, diaphragms, and contraceptive sponges with spermicide.

Protection by use of barrier devices, such as condoms, depends on its proper use, the cleanliness of surfaces, placing it properly and before any liquid comes out of penis. Studies of latex condom performance during use reported breakage and slippage rates varying from 1.46% to 18.60%. Condoms must be put on before any bodily fluid could be exchanged.

Condoms (male or female) are also used to protect against STIs, and used with other forms of contraception to improve contraceptive effectiveness. For example, simultaneously using both the male condom and spermicide applied separately is believed to reduce pregnancy rates to those seen among implant users. However, if two condoms are used simultaneously like male condom on top of male condom, or male condom inside female condom, this increases the chance of condom failure and thus should be avoided

Male condom are most frequently made of latex, and can also be made out of synthetic materials including polyurethane it covers the penis during sexual activity while the female condoms are inserted into the vagina prior to intercourse.

Female condoms are made of two flexible polyurethane rings and a loose-fitting polyurethane sheath. According to laboratory testing, female condoms are more effective in preventing the leakage of body fluids and also in transmission of STIs and HIV. Research has shown that structural integrity of polyurethane female condoms is not damaged during up to five uses if it is disinfected with water and household bleach. However, regardless of this study, specialists still recommend that female condoms be used only once and then discarded.

Male condoms and the diaphragm with spermicide have typical use first-year failure rates of 18% and 12%, respectively. With perfect use condoms are more effective with a 2% first-year failure rate versus a 6% first-year rate with the diaphragm. Condoms have the additional benefit of helping to prevent the spread of some sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS.

Contraceptive sponges combine a barrier with a spermicide. Like diaphragms, they are inserted vaginally before intercourse and must be placed over the cervix to be effective. Typical failure rates during the first year depend on whether or not a woman has previously given birth, being 24% in those who have and 12% in those who have not. The sponge can be inserted up to 24 hours before intercourse and must be left in place for at least six hours afterward.

Note: When latex barriers are used, oil-based lubrication can break down the structure of the latex and reduce the protection it provides.

Also See ...
»   Abstinence
»   Barrier
»   Behavioral
»   Emergency contraceptive
»   Fertility awareness
»   Hormonal
»   Intrauterine devices
»   Lactational amenorrhea
»   Sterilization
»   Withdrawal


Birth Control
»  Birth Control Overview
»  Different method of birth control
»  Different contraceptive devices and medications
»  Comparison of birth control methods
»  Effect on Health
»  Effect on family economy

Birth Control Calculators
»  Safe Period Calculator
»  When is Ovulation (Ovulation Calculator)

Birth Control FAQs
»  Birth control and your cycle FAQs
»  Birth control and your health FAQs
»  Contraceptive Pills FAQs
»  Depo Provera (Shot) FAQs
»  NuvaRing (Ring) FAQs
»  Ortho Evra (Patch) FAQs
»  Other Birth Control FAQS
Birth Control Methods
»  Abstinence
»  Barrier
»  Behavioral
»  Emergency contraceptive
»  Fertility awareness
»  Hormonal
»  Intrauterine devices
»  Lactational amenorrhea
»  Sterilization
»  Withdrawal

Contraceptive Device & Medications
»  Abortion
»  Cervical caps
»  Condoms
»  Contraceptive sponges with spermicide
»  Diaphragms
»  Emergency contraceptive
»  Implants under the skin
»  Injections
»  Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
»  Oral pills
»  Patches
»  Vaginal ring


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