Which Of The Following Are Barrier Methods Of Contraception?

So, which of the following are barrier methods of contraception? First of all, we need to understand the basic conception of contraceptive methods as well as the idea of barrier methods of contraception.

Which Of The Following Are Barrier Methods Of Contraception

Contraceptive methods exist to prevent the occurrence and development of a pregnancy.

Choosing such a method should be done after following some correct guidelines and not based on what people say. The choice is usually based on age, indications and contraindications, benefits and disadvantages, as well as particularities for each and every individual in part. Thus, before choosing a contraceptive method, a woman should perform a detailed examination by a specialist, usually a gynecologist.

Table of Contents

What Are Contraceptive Methods?

Contraceptive methods are designed to prevent unwanted pregnancies by simply blocking the encounter between an egg and sperm, or by generating some changes to the uterus in the attempt to prevent the pregnancy from installing. Contraceptive methods allow woman to choose the “ideal” time to conceive a baby.

Another reason for using such a method is hygienic. Also, when a sexual partner whose sexual history isn`t know, some of these contraceptive methods can be used to avoid STDs.

Which of the Following Are Barrier Methods of Contraception?

The specificity of barrier contraceptive methods is that they physically block the penetration of sperm into the vagina, therefore preventing the possible egg fertilization.

Among the known barrier methods we remind male and female condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps and sponges.

In general, these methods aren`t as efficient as IUDs or hormonal contraceptive methods.

To increase the efficiency of barrier contraceptive methods, it`s recommended the association of a spermicide, which kills the sperm before passing the cervix.

The possibility for a sexual partner to be the carrier of a STD makes necessary the use of a condom.

Male Condom

Male condom is one of the few contraceptive methods available on the market designed for men. It has a cylindrical shape, it`s designed from a flexible material, like latex, polyurethane or natural material, and comes on different size, flavors an colors.

The male condom practically covers the erectile male genital organ, therefore preventing the sperm intrusion into the vagina.

During sexual intercourse, there`s a possibility for the condom to break if there isn`t enough lubrication, thus most condoms available on the market are impregnated with lubricants.

The use of condoms significantly reduces the risk of contracting a STD and is also used for hygienic reasons.

To be more efficient, a condom shouldn`t have been used before and needs to be applied correctly on an erectile penis before a sexual contact. A spermicide cream applied to the condom may be used for better protection.

Female Condom

It`s the equivalent of a male condom and has 2 open ends and one closed ending with a ring. It`s introduced by the woman with the closed end deeper into the vagina, while the open end remains stuck to the vulva. Then, it`s thrown away after the consumption of sexual contact. For each sexual contact, a new condom needs to be used. Both advantages and disadvantages are similar to those of a male condom.

Female condom can be left in the vagina up to 48 hours. It`s also compatible with women who have muscles that are too relaxed to maintain a diaphragm fixed to the cervix.

It`s not recommended to use female condoms during menstruation or vaginal bleeding.

Female condoms are the latest breakthrough in the field of barrier methods of contraception. There hasn`t been too many studies performed on this issue. However, until now it was established that offers a 97% efficiency regarding sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV) and 79% when it comes to an unwanted pregnancy, meaning that 21 out of 100 women remain pregnant in a year if they choose to use this method alone, without other methods of contraception.


The diaphragm is designed from soft rubber. At the edge being held by a resilient circle, it`s bombed in the form of a small dome. It needs to be introduced into the vagina before a sexual contact. It also needs to be adjusted by a doctor, because it has different sizes.

It covers the cervix and blocks the passage of sperm towards the uterus and fallopian tubes, and serves as a support for spermicidal substances.

It offers an average efficiency, if used correctly.


  • It offers immediate efficiency.
  • It doesn`t have side effects.
  • It doesn`t intervene in the development of sexual contact.
  • Its usage can be interrupted.
  • It doesn`t cause infertility.


  • It requires time to learn how to handle and control the correct position, and this requires for the woman to know her body well.
  • It requires a prior gynecological examination to establish the size of the diaphragm and for resizing when necessary (high body weight changes).
  • It needs to be inserted into the vagina at least 6 hours before the sexual contact.
  • It sometimes may be associated with infections of the urinary tract.

You can find it in pharmacies, family planning consultation points or your doctor.

Cervical Cap

Also known as FemCap, it has a soft texture, it`s designed out of latex or silicone and it`s placed over the cervix. The main idea is to block sperm from ever reaching the egg. That`s also the reason for which is named a “barrier birth control method.”

The woman puts spermicide on the inside of the cap, and then inserts it into the vagina. The cap will block the cervix and the spermicide will kill the sperm.

The cap needs to be kept in place for at least 6 hours from the sexual contact. If during this time there`s another sexual intercourse, there`s no need to reapply the spermicide. However, the cap needs to be checked if it`s in place.

Advantages of All Barrier Contraceptive Methods

  • They don`t affect fertility.
  • They are safe to use during breastfeeding.
  • They are cheaper than hormonal contraceptive methods; some of them can be found with no prescription.
  • They are used at the time of sexual contact.
  • Diaphragms and condoms might reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer.
  • They don`t affect other medical conditions, like diabetes or high blood pressure.

Disadvantages of All Barrier Contraceptive Methods

  • Failure rates of these contraceptive methods are a lot higher than most of the other birth control methods.
  • Both partners need to be comfortable with a barrier method to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
  • Some people have allergies to latex or polyurethane condoms.
Image courtesy of thecollegefix.com

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