How do barrier methods of family planning work

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Barrier methods prevent pregnancy by blocking the sperm from reaching the egg. They do not change the way the woman’s or man’s body works, and they cause very few side effects. Barrier methods are safe if a woman is breastfeeding. Most of these methods also protect against STIs, including HIV. When a woman wants to become pregnant, she simply stops using the barrier method.

The most common barrier methods are the condom, condoms for women, the diaphragm, and spermicides.

  • Burns, A. A., Niemann, S., Lovich, R., Maxwell, J., & Shapiro, K. (2014). Where women have no doctor: A health guide for women. Hesperian Foundation.
  • Audiopedia ID: en020409