Barrier methods of birth control work by preventing sperm from entering the uterus and fertilizing an egg. When a spermicide is combined with a barrier method of birth control, it is even more effective. Unlike other methods of birth control, barrier methods are used only when you have sexual intercourse. So, what are the different barrier methods of birth control? Barrier methods include the diaphragm, cervical cap, cervical shield, male condom, female condom and spermicidal foam, sponges, and film. Each of these types of birth control has its own unique advantages and potential drawbacks. Your OBGYN or Certified Nurse Midwife is the best person to help you decide which barrier form of contraception is right for you.
Barrier methods of contraception are a good choice if you desire an option that does not require hormones, are planning on becoming pregnant in the near future or are breast feeding. A diaphragm may be a good option for you if you have heavy menstrual periods. Their advantages include the fact that they do not affect a man or woman’s future fertility, are only used at the time of sexual intercourse, are safe to use when breastfeeding and do not affect other health conditions such as Diabetes or high blood pressure. Barrier methods are also less expensive that other forms of birth control and many can be obtained without a prescription. The biggest disadvantage of barrier forms of birth control is the fact that they are not as effective as some other forms.
Of all the different types of barrier methods, male and female condoms are the only forms that protect you from Sexually Transmitted Infections including HIV. If you want to protect yourself from Sexually Transmitted Infections, you should wear a condom every time you have intercourse.
If you would like to get additional information on the different barrier forms of birth control or to determine which form of contraception best suits your needs, your budget and your lifestyle, talk to your OBGYN or Certified Nurse Midwife today.