Contraception, also known as Birth control, involves using devices or medicine to prevent unplanned pregnancy. There are many contraception methods, and some may suit you more than others, depending on your goal. Some contraception San Antonio methods can help prevent both STD/STIs and pregnancy, while others only help avoid unwanted/unplanned conception. Also, some contraceptive methods can be reversible, while others are more permanent. It is also worth noting that some contraceptives can be used simultaneously. The common contraception options are barrier, hormonal, and non-hormonal. Let’s take a look at the common barrier contraception methods available.
Cervical cap and contraceptive diaphragm
The contraceptive diaphragm is a small cup-shaped cap made of latex or silicon which fits inside the vagina and covers the cervix. The cervical cap is shallow and fits tightly onto the cervix. You should insert them with spermicide to block or kill sperm. The contraception works by blocking the sperm from reaching the ovaries. Cervical cap and contraceptive diaphragm offer benefits including:
- They don’t affect your natural hormone
- If you are breast-feeding, they do not affect breast milk
- They can be inserted hours before sexual intercourse
Male and female condoms
A condom is a barrier that helps prevent sperm from entering the uterus to reach the egg. Using a condom with spermicide is an excellent way to protect against STIs and pregnancy. Other benefits of using condoms include:
- They are relatively cheap compared to other birth control methods and are readily available in most stores
- Immediately after childbirth, condoms can be used for intercourse
Spermicides are chemicals that destroy sperm, preventing pregnancy. It can be used alone or with other methods, except for the sponge. When used alone, the spermicide should be inserted into the vagina close to the cervix. The different kinds of spermicide include:
- Cream or gel
The spermicide should be placed in the vagina not more than an hour before intercourse. This is because they are effective for only about 1 hour after insertion. They must be left in place for not less than 6-8 hours after intercourse. Spermicides have the same benefits as condoms except for STD/STI prevention.
A sponge is a round, soft foam device with a spermicide. The sponge is usually inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix and keep sperm from entering the uterus. The sponge’s spermicide destroys the sperm. This method doesn’t protect against STIs. The sponge works for close to 24 hours and must be left for 6 hours in the vagina after intercourse. The sponge has the same benefits as the spermicide.
While considering an ideal barrier contraception method, withdrawal can also be cut, but only if you have the resolve to manage it and, ideally, are not challenged by concerns like premature ejaculation. As you choose a method besides pregnancy prevention, considering your sexual behaviors is recommended. For instance, if you have multiple partners, condoms combined with other approaches are advised to help limit the chances of contracting STDs. Contact Aurora OB/GYN today to learn more about barrier contraception methods.