Barrier methods are contraceptive techniques that work by physically preventing sperm from reaching the egg, thus preventing fertilization. These create a barrier between the sperm and the egg, reducing the risk of pregnancy. Barrier methods are often reversible and do not involve hormonal changes. Here are some common types of barrier methods:

Barrier methods are contraceptive techniques


Male Condom: A thin sheath made of latex or polyurethane that is worn over the erect penis before intercourse. It collects semen and prevents it from entering the vagina.

Female Condom: A pouch made of polyurethane that is inserted into the vagina before intercourse. It lines the vaginal walls and covers the cervix.


A soft, dome-shaped silicone or latex device is inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix and prevent sperm from entering the uterus.

It must be used with spermicide, a gel or cream that kills sperm.

Cervical Cap:

Similar to a diaphragm but smaller, the cervical cap is made of silicone and is placed over the cervix.

It also requires the use of spermicide.


A soft, foam sponge that contains spermicide. It is inserted into the vagina before intercourse to cover the cervix.

The sponge absorbs and immobilizes sperm.


Spermicides are chemicals available in various forms, such as creams, gels, foams, and suppositories.

They are inserted into the vagina before intercourse to immobilize and kill sperm.

Advantages of Barrier Methods:

They do not involve hormonal changes and have minimal side effects.

Many of them are available without a prescription.

They can be used on an as-needed basis and do not affect fertility after discontinuation.

Considerations and Effectiveness:

Barrier methods require correct and consistent use to be effective.

Some people may have allergies or sensitivities to certain materials used in barrier methods.

Condoms are the only barrier method that also offers protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

It’s important to choose a contraceptive method that aligns with your lifestyle, preferences, and health needs. If you’re considering a barrier method, consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best option for you and to ensure proper usage. Remember that while barrier methods are effective in reducing the risk of pregnancy, no contraceptive method provides 100% protection.