What is barrier contraception?

Updated: Oct 16, 2019
  • Author: Frances E Casey, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Answer

Answer

These contraceptives include the following:

  • Male condom - One of the most popular mechanical barriers and, among all of the barrier methods, the one that provides the most effective protection of the genital tract from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).  

  • Female condom - Prevents pregnancy by acting as a barrier to the passage of semen into the vagina (see the image below).  

    Female condom. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Female condom. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
  • Diaphragm - Prevents pregnancy by acting as a barrier to the passage of semen into the cervix.  

  • Cervical cap - Acts as a mechanical barrier to sperm migration into the cervical canal.  

  • Spermicidal agent - Prevents sperm from entering the cervical os by attacking the sperm's flagella and body, reducing their mobility, and disrupting their fructolytic activity, thereby inhibiting their nourishment.


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