what are barrier methods

Barrier methods of birth control block sperm from entering the uterus. Using a spermicide with a barrier method gives you the best possible barrier method protection.

The spermicide kills most of the sperm that enter the vagina.
The barrier method then blocks any remaining sperm from passing through the cervix to fertilize an egg.

Barrier methods camera.gif include the diaphragm, cervical cap, male condom, and female condom and spermicidal foam, sponges, and film. Unlike other methods of birth control, barrier methods are used only when you have sexual intercourse. Be sure to read the instructions before using a barrier method. It is very important that you use a barrier method correctly every time you have sex.