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Barrier Methods Of Contraception, Ambulatory Care

Barrier methods of contraception

are objects that block the sperm and help prevent pregnancy. Barrier methods may help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Types of barrier methods:

The most commonly used barrier method is a condom. You may also use any of the following:

  • Spermicide kills sperm or keeps it from reaching an egg cell. It may be in the form of a cream, jelly, foam, tablet, or vaginal suppository. Suppositories and tablets must be put in about 30 minutes before sex. Creams, jellies, and foams are put into the vagina right before sex.
  • A cervical cap is a small rubber cap that covers the cervix and blocks sperm from entering the uterus. You will need to see your healthcare provider to be fitted for a cervical cap. The cap is left in place during sex and for up to 6 to 8 hours afterward. You can have sex more than one time with the cap left in place. Remove the cap within 48 hours after you have sex.
    Barrier Method: The cervical cap fits snugly over the cervix, preventing sperm from entering the uterus
  • A diaphragm is a soft latex rubber dome that covers the cervix and helps prevent sperm from reaching it. You will need to see your healthcare provider to be fitted for a diaphragm. It is left in place during sex and for at least 6 hours afterward. You can have sex more than one time with the diaphragm left in place. Remove the diaphragm within 24 hours after you have sex.
    Barrier method: The diaphragm fits over the cervical opening, preventing sperm from entering the uterus
  • A contraceptive sponge is a small, round sponge that is placed in the vagina near the cervix before sex. It helps to block sperm from reaching the cervix. It can also kill sperm because it has spermicide in it. You can have sex more than once before the sponge needs to be taken out. Remove the sponge within 12 hours after you have sex.

Risks of barrier methods:

Barrier methods may not prevent pregnancy, even if they are used as directed. You may still get an STI. You have a higher risk of a urinary tract infection when you use barrier methods. The products may cause itching, redness, swelling, or pain inside or around your vagina. You may have pain when you urinate. Your cap, sponge, or diaphragm may not fit correctly if your weight changes by 10 pounds or more. You may also need a different size if you get pregnant, have a baby, or have pelvic surgery. The rubber of the cap or diaphragm can be damaged if you use oil-based products, such as certain creams or baby oil.

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Pain or burning when you urinate
  • Vaginal pain, itching, or burning during or after sex

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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