Contraception: The Barrier Method

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The birth control pill, otherwise known as the Pill, is one of the more common forms of contraception used in the United States today. It is easy to acquire, quite affordable, and fairly straightforward when it comes to keeping unwanted pregnancy at bay – provided that you remember to take it on time, that is.

However, we have already written about the downsides to the Pill, particularly its side effects. It is also a hormonal contraception that, while not necessarily common, can cause women problems in the long run. In this blog, we are going to talk about other forms of contraception that can be used as alternatives to the Pill. Particularly, some of the things you can consider if you are interested to know more about The Barrier Method.

The Barrier Method

In lieu of the Pill, many couples opt to go for “The Barrier Method,” which means putting a barrier before or during intercourse to prevent the sperm from reaching the uterus. This then involves using an item of some kind that acts as a physical barrier, and having to keep that item in place several hours after the intercourse.

      • Male and Female Condoms
        The most common example of The Barrier Method would be male and female condoms. Aside from protecting you from pregnancy, condoms have an added benefit: they can prevent sexually transmitted diseases and infections too!Condoms are typically inexpensive and are widely available. In some cases, they are even given out for free. They are generally easy to use as well.However, condoms do have downsides. For instance, they are considered only about 80 to 90 percent effective at preventing pregnancy, and that is if they are used properly. Some women find it difficult to fit a female condom into position, while others say it is very easy to put into place. Meanwhile, male condoms can break and the sperm can leak into the vagina.
    • Cervical Cap
      The cervical cap is a thimble-shaped silicone cup that is inserted into the vagina. For maximum protection, spermicide is put into the cap before it is put into place. It can be placed six hours before intercourse, and should be left in place for six hours after.Spermicide should be reapplied to the cap after intercourse, and it should be washed with mild soap after each use. It can also be used for up to two years, provided that the cap remains undamaged.
    • Diaphragm
      Meanwhile, an alternative to the cervical cap is the diaphragm, which is a shallow, dome-shaped silicone cup with a flexible rim that is inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix. Similar to the cervical cap, it is best used with spermicide and must be inserted properly to gain its maximum benefits.However, the diaphragm can be dislodged from its place based on heavy thrusting and certain sexual positions. Some women also develop urinary tract infections or vaginal irritation.

The Barrier Method is just one form of birth control that is an effective alternative to birth control pills. Whatever form of birth control you use, just make sure that you are comfortable, and that you and your partner are using them as directed to ensure that you are practicing safe sex.

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