stdbasicsbanner.png

Barrier Methods

Updated: a day ago


What are barrier methods?


Barrier methods are forms of contraception that prevent sperm from entering the uterus. These include:

Click any of the above methods to find out more information.

Condoms


What is a condom?

Condoms are thin sleeves, worn either on the penis or inside the vagina or anus, that prevent sperm from entering the uterus. Condoms are normally made of latex, but those with latex allergies can opt for polyurethane condoms.

Condoms and dental dams are the only barrier methods that can prevent STIs.

When used properly, both internal and external condoms are highly effective in protecting you from STIs.

Wait, there are internal condoms?

Yes! While internal condoms, sometimes called female condoms, are less common than external condoms, they are a great way to put the receiving partner in control of their choice to use protection. Read below for more information.

Most condoms come pre-lubricated. However, ALWAYS use extra lubricant to prevent breakage.

Make sure to use water or silicone-based lube. Oil-based products will cause the condom to break.

How to use an external condom

External condoms are latex or polyurethane coverings that are placed on the penis during sex to prevent pregnancy and STIs.

  1. Check the expiration date on the package. Expired condoms are not effective in preventing pregnancy and STIs.

  2. Check to make sure there are no tears or defects in the condom.

  3. Carefully open the package and remove the condom.

  4. Place the condom on the head of the penis and pinch the air out of the tip.

  5. Unroll the condom down the shaft of the penis

  6. After sex, hold the condom at the base of the penis before pulling out

  7. Remove the condom and throw it away.

How to use an internal condom

Internal condoms are sleeves that are inserted into the vagina or anus during sex to prevent pregnancy and STIs. While they're sometimes called female condoms, cisgender men can also use internal condoms during anal sex.

  1. Check the expiration date on the package. Expired condoms are not effective in preventing pregnancy and STIs.

  2. Check to make sure there are no tears or defects in the condom.

  3. Carefully open the package and remove the condom.

  4. Squeeze the sides of the inner ring on the closed end and insert it into the vagina/anus.

  5. Use your finger to push the condom as far up as possible.

  6. Check occasionally during sex to make sure your partner's penis hasn't slipped between the condom and vagina/anus, or that the outer ring of the condom hasn't entered the vagina/anus.

  7. If this happens, stop and use a new internal condom.

  8. After sex, twist the outer ring and pull the condom out of the vagina/anus

  9. Remove the condom and throw it away.

It is possible to use an internal condom like a "male" condom for anal sex. To do this, remove the inner ring from the internal condom and place it on the penis/dildo before inserting.

Do not remove the inner ring if inserting into the anus beforehand, as the condom can twist and cause breakage.

Don't use more than one condom at once.

"Doubling up" does not increase the effectiveness of condoms. In fact, the friction this creates can make one or both condoms more likely to break.

NEVER reuse a condom

Condoms are not effective after use and can rupture. Besides, that's sort of gross.


Diaphragms


What is a diaphragm?​

A diaphragm is a latex or silicone dome that covers the cervix to prevent sperm from entering the uterus.

There are four types of diaphragms:

  • Arching spring diaphragm

  • Coil spring diaphragm

  • Flat spring diaphragm

  • Wide seal rim diaphragm

The last type is made of silicone and is meant for women who are allergic or sensitive to latex.

Your doctor can help you decide which type of diaphragm is best for you.

Diaphragms do not protect against STIs.

Condoms and dental dams are the only forms of contraception that can prevent STIs.

How to ​use a diaphragm

Diaphragms must be used with spermicide to prevent pregnancy. Spermicide is a foam, gel, or cream that kills sperm.

  1. Apply 1 teaspoon of spermicide to the inside of the diaphragm, as well as around the rim.

  2. Fold the diaphragm with the dome pointing down.

  3. Insert the diaphragm into the vagina and aim for the tailbone.

  4. Push the diaphragm as far back as it will go.

  5. Push the front rim of the diaphragm behind the pubic bone.

  6. If you have sex more than once, apply more spermicide to the vagina without removing the diaphragm.

  7. After sex, leave the diaphragm in for at least 6 hours.

  8. Hook your finger on the front rim, then pull down and out.

Do not use a diaphragm during your period.

A diaphragm can be inserted up to 18 hours before sex. However, do not leave a diaphragm in for more than 24 hours, as this can cause toxic shock syndrome or infection.


Cervical Caps


What is a cervical cap?​

Much like diaphragms, cervical caps cover your cervix to prevent sperm from reaching the uterus. Cervical caps are smaller than diaphragms and shaped differently. While you can leave a cervical cap in longer (up to 2 days), diaphragms are more effective in preventing pregnancy.

Cervical caps do not protect against STIs.

Condoms and dental dams are the only forms of contraception that can prevent STIs.

How to ​use a cervical cap

Cervical caps must be used with spermicide to prevent pregnancy. Spermicide is a foam, gel, or cream that kills sperm.

  1. Apply 1/4 teaspoon of spermicide to the inside of the cup, as well as around the flat part of the brim.

  2. Apply 1/2 teaspoon of spermicide in the groove between the brim and the dome.

  3. Squeeze the rim of the cap with one hand.

  4. Insert the cervical cap into the vagina so the side with the strap faces down.

  5. Push the cervical cap as far back as it will go.

  6. If you have sex more than once, apply more spermicide to the vagina without removing the cap.

  7. After sex, leave the cervical cap in for at least 6 hours.

  8. Push against the dome to release the suction.

  9. Hook your finger around the strap and pull the cap down and out.

Do not use a cervical cap during your period. A cervical cap can be inserted up to 6 hours before sex. However, do not leave your cervical cap in for more than 48 hours, as this can cause side effects.


Dental Dams


What is a dental dam?

Dental dams are thin sheets placed over the vagina or anus during oral sex to protect against STIs. Dental dams are normally made of latex, but those with latex allergies can opt for polyurethane condoms.

Condoms and dental dams are the only barrier methods that can prevent STIs.

When used properly, dental dams are highly effective in protecting you from STIs.

Many dental dams come pre-lubricated. However, ALWAYS use extra lubricant to prevent breakage.

Make sure to use water or silicone-based lube. Oil-based products will cause the dental dam to break.

How to use a dental dam

  1. Check the expiration date on the package. Expired dental dams are not effective in preventing STIs.

  2. Check to make sure there are no tears or defects in the dental dam.

  3. Carefully open the package and remove the dental dam.

  4. Place the dental dam over the opening of the vagina or anus

  5. After oral sex, remove the dental dam and throw it away.

If you don't have a dental dam with you, you can easily make one with a condom.

How to make a dental dam from a condom

  1. Check the expiration date on the package. Expired condoms are not effective in preventing pregnancy and STIs.

  2. Check to make sure there are no tears or defects in the condom.

  3. Carefully open the package and remove the condom.

  4. Cut the tip and bottom off of the condom.

  5. Cut down the side of the condom.

  6. Place the condom over the opening of the vagina or anus

  7. After oral sex, remove the condom and throw it away.

Don't stretch a dental dam

This can cause the dental dam to tear.

NEVER reuse a dental dam

Dental dams are not effective after use. Besides, that's sort of gross.

Related Posts

See All
336x280-centerlink-member.png

PRISM FL, Inc is a tax-exempt non-profit organization under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(3). Donations and other contributions to PRISM FL, Inc. are tax-deductible under IRC Section 170.

 

"A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION OF PRISM FL, INC, CH62359, MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE."

Subscribe to Our Newsletter
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Facebook

©2020-2021 by PRISM FL, Inc.