|Barriers are the oldest form of contraceptive. They are not popular in the present day and age because a definite decision that has to be made for their use at a particular time. With spontaneous lovemaking, there is the danger that they will be forgotten. |
Barriers consist of diaphrams, caps, sponges and condoms for both men and women (femidom).
The failure rate varies with each apparatus and depends a lot on mutual ability to insert and remove the particular barrier efficiently.
The Diaphram is made of rubber with a reinforced spring rim which fits over the cervix. There are various sizes and it has to be fitted by your doctor who will show you how to use it effectively and how to make sure it is in place.
The need for a change in size will depend upon several factors. Pregnancy will alter the size of your cervix and vagina as will regular intercourse and a weight change. You should have a medical check up at least once a year to check for any complications due to the use of a diaphragm and to check that the size of the diaphragm is still correct.
The diaphram has about the same rate of reliability as the condom.
A spermicide which kills spermatozoa is used in conjunction with a diaphragm and should be in contact with the cervix. Diaphragm should be cleaned with warm water and soap. Never boil or use disinfectants.
A Diaphragmatic Cap is similar to a diaphragm but fits more closely around the cervix and needs more experitse when being inserted and removed.
The Sponge is an age old method of contraception but its use has been updated. It does not need to be fitted and is impregnated with a spermacide.
There are limits as to how long barriers can be left inside the vaginal canal. If your doctor is agreeable to the use of a barrier form of contraceptive then he or she is in a position to check for gynaecological problems, advise on which barrier and how it should be used and how long before and after intercourse it should be left in place.
The Condom is a contraceptive that has been used for hundreds of years, and recently a female condom (Femidom) has been developed. The condom has gained recent publicity through its use as a preventative measure against AIDS. It has a failure rate as a contraceptive which is approximately 10 pregnancies per 100 women who have been exposed to the technique for one year.
Condoms are made of rubber unless a special anti-allergy material is needed. When in place they cover the penis like a glove. They can be lubricated, some with a spermicide. Their reliability is directly related to the technique used in applying and removing and to any tear or damage which may occur during the use of the condom. Donít keep condoms in your wallet as that can affect their reliability, as can storing them in hot places.
With all barrier devices, care should be taken when removing them following sex. Live sperm on the contraceptive itself can cause pregnancy.
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