Birth Control Barrier Methods
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Birth Control Barrier Methods Introduction
The practice of birth control or preventing pregnancy is as old as human existence. For centuries, humans have relied upon their imagination to avoid pregnancy.
- Ancient writings dating back to 1850 BC refer to techniques using a device placed in a womans vagina made of crocodile dung and fermented dough, which most likely created a hostile environment for sperm. Other items placed in the vagina included plugs of gum, honey, and acacia.
- During the early second century in Rome, a highly acidic concoction of fruits, nuts, and wool was placed on the cervix as a type of spermicidal barrier.
Todays barrier methods include the male condom, which is inexpensive, available everywhere, and effective when used properly. The female condom
is used less often. Women often elect, instead, to use a diaphragm
or cervical cap
. Both require a doctors visit.
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