Health & Wellness

Common Barrier Methods of Birth Control

Phoenix birth control involves several methods that aim to prevent pregnancy from occurring. Your gynecologist can recommend effective barrier methods you can apply during sexual intercourse to prevent pregnancy. However, the effectiveness of every method varies and depends on how you use them. Therefore, you should be keen to follow your doctor’s instructions to avoid unplanned pregnancies. You can learn about different barrier methods from the discussion below.

Male and Female Condoms

Male condoms have a thin latex cover that you roll over the penis to prevent semen from entering a vagina. On the other hand, female condoms have a ring at both ends, while one end of the tube remains closed. You and your partner may decide to use a condom before starting sexual activity to prevent the entry of sperm that may lead to pregnancy. Condoms offer the most effective choice for preventing STIs, even though they are not 100% effective. Effectiveness fails when a condom tears during sexual intercourse.


Spermicides contain chemicals that damage sperm, so they do not reach the egg for fertilization. You place spermicide into the vagina, preferably 30 minutes before sexual intercourse. The effectiveness of spermicide depends on how you use it. Spermicide may work for up to one hour before you can reapply it, and do not wash it out after sex. Spermicides are more effective when you combine them with another barrier method. However, they do not protect you from STIs. Instead, they increase your risk because of the chemicals.

Vaginal Diaphragm

Diaphragms block the cervix, thus preventing the entry of sperm into your vagina. They resemble a small hat with a dome shape which you bend halfway and slide up your vagina. You will use contraceptive gel with a diaphragm. Your doctor will instruct you to insert the diaphragm two hours before sexual intercourse and remove it six hours after sex. Diaphragms vary in size, and you can ask your doctor to fit you one that you will reuse every time during sex. They are highly effective, especially if you use a spermicide along them. However, they do not keep you safe from STIs.

Cervical Cap

The protection cap has a thimble-shaped cup that you fit over your cervix. You may have to cover the cap in spermicide before inserting it in your vagina to block the cervix, thus paralyzing sperm. You will insert the cap six hours before sexual intercourse and then let it stay for up to eight hours after sex. Cervical caps are effective, especially if you use a spermicide along them. They do not, however, offer maximum protection from STIs.

Vaginal Sponge

The sponge contains spermicide, and during use, you wet it with water and then place it in your vagina to release chemicals that kill sperm. However, you are at high risk of vaginal infections.

You can learn more about different birth control methods at Desert Star Family Planning. The team will recommend reliable and effective prevention methods you can apply to prevent pregnancy. You will also learn how to use them so they can work effectively. You can raise any concerns with your doctor anytime during the visit. Make your appointment online today.


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