Barrier Methods of Birth Control: What You Need to Know

Barrier methods of birth control are any forms of birth control methods that prevent pregnancy by disallowing sperm from entering the uterus to reach an egg. Some of these methods also prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) [1] like HIV.

Barrier methods may include the use of male and female condoms, diaphragms, spermicides, sponges, and cervical cap. These methods of birth control are only used during sexual intercourse.

Use of Condoms

The use of condoms is one of the most popular means of birth control. A condom is a thin tube that is worn over the penis or placed inside the vagina to prevent the entry of sperm into the vagina. There are two different types of condoms which are internal condoms and external condoms.

The internal condom is also known as the female condom. It has two ends. One end is closed while the other end is opened. The closed end is inserted into the vagina to line the vaginal walls while the open end faces the exterior and receives the penis during sexual intercourse. The success rate of using a female condom is about 79%.

The external condom is also known as the male condom. It also has two ends just like the female condom (closed and open end). The open end is worn over the penis when it is erect. It receives the sperm and prevents it from entering the vagina during sex. Its success rate is about 85%.

Condoms are made with different materials like latex. They are only used during sex and should be worn just once for each intercourse. After use, remove them immediately, place them inside a plastic bag and dispose of them.