Birth Control Barrier Methods
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.
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.
The condom (also called a rubber) is a thin sheath placed over an erect penis. A man would put a condom over his penis before he places the penis in a womans vagina. A condom worn by a man prevents pregnancy by acting as a barrier to the passage of semen into the vagina. A condom can be worn only once. It is one of the most popular birth control barriers. You can buy condoms at most drugstores and grocery stores and dispensers can be found in public restrooms.
Condoms made from latex are the best at preventing pregnancy. They also protect against sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS and gonorrhea. Do not use condoms with Vaseline or other brands of petroleum jelly, lotions, or oils. They can decrease the effectiveness of the condom and increase the chance of pregnancy and transmission of sexually transmitted disease. Condoms can be used with lubricants that don't have oil, such as K-Y Jelly.
Male condom use has increased from among women of reproductive age because of their concern about getting HIV (the virus that leads to AIDS) and other STDs.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/28/2014
Omnia M Samra, MD
Bryan D Cowan, MD
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Lee P Shulman, MD
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Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Birth Control Barrier Methods:
Birth Control Barrier Methods - Patient Experience
Have you use a barrier method of birth control? Which did you use, and was it effective? Please describe your experience.