Barrier Methods of Birth Control
For many years, women have prevented pregnancy by using some type of material inserted into their vagina to block sperm. One popular method involved a small piece of natural sponge soaked in vinegar. Although it wasn't the most effective form of contraception, it did help. It also paved the way for today's generation of barrier methods.
How Barrier Contraception Works
The premise of barrier methods of birth control is very simple: block the sperms path to the uterus and you can prevent becoming pregnant. The three main types of barriers are the diaphragm, the cervical cap and the contraceptive sponge.
When used with spermicide, this form of birth control also helps to prevent pregnancy by killing off the sperm. All three types of barriers can be inserted prior to sex but they must also be left in place for as much as six hours after sex.
Female condoms are also considered to be a barrier method of birth control.
Who's It For?
Not every woman will be able to use this type of contraception. Women who have recently given birth or had an abortion should use a different type of birth control until their doctor says it is okay.
Additionally, having weak vaginal muscles, frequent urinary tract infections, recent cervical surgery or a history of toxic shock syndrome may rule you out as a candidate for this type of birth control.