Barrier contraception

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Barrier contraception
B.C. type Barrier
First use Plastic & silicone (1900s)
Rubber/latex (1800s)
Other materials (Ancient)
Failure rates (first year)
Perfect use method dependent%
Typical use method dependent%
User reminders Must be applied prior to intercourse.
Clinic review Size assessment for some methods
Advantages and Disadvantages
STD protection Yes
Weight gain No
Benefits No external drugs taken

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Barrier contraception methods prevent pregnancy by physically preventing sperm from entering the uterus through the os in in the cervix.

Historical Perspective

The earliest recorded barrier methods are those of stem pessaries, found in Egypt. The diaphragm and reusable condoms became common after the invention of rubber vulcanization in the early nineteenth century. Condoms became even more popular after the 1930s invention of latex, which enabled the creation of thinner, disposable prophylactics.


The following are barrier methods of contraception.

The contraceptive sponge is usually considered a barrier method, but not always, as its effectiveness relies largely on spermicide.

The male condom provides excellent protection against sexually transmitted infections. Using a condom is sometimes referred to as "practicing safer sex".

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