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What are barrier methods of contraception?

Barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, refer to methods that prevent transferrence of sperm to the female genital track through physical means.  They are the only methods that are effective in preventing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Barrier methods of contraception are forms of birth control that block sperm from entering the uterus, either by physically blocking it or by killing it before it can enter the uterus. This prevents pregnancy by stopping the sperm from fertilizing the egg. Barrier methods include condoms, diaphragms, sponges, cervical caps and spermicide. Doctors often recommend using a spermicide along with another barrier method to further reduce the risk of pregnancy. Combining other barrier methods with spermicide may also help prevent the spread of some STDs.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.