Birth Control Methods (cont.)

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Barrier methods (including condoms)

Barrier methods prevent fertilization of the egg by a sperm cell. These either prevent contact between egg and sperm via a physical block or kill sperm cells before they are able to fertilize an egg. Examples of physical barrier contraceptives include the diaphragm, condoms, and the cervical cap or shield. Contraceptive sponges contain a spermicide cream, and other forms of spermicides are available as well. Spermicides may be used in combination with barrier methods for greater effectiveness.

Natural methods

Natural methods involve tracking a woman's menstrual cycle to try to determine when ovulation is most likely to occur, and avoiding sexual intercourse (or using barrier contraceptives) during that time. There are different ways to detect ovulation, including the basal body temperature method and the use of home ovulation test kits. Checking and recording the consistency of cervical mucus is another way to help determine when ovulation occurs.

Surgical sterilization (tubal ligation or vasectomy)

Surgical sterilization is a form of permanent birth control that is available for both women (tubal ligation) and men (vasectomy). Sterilization implants are a more recent type of permanent birth control that is available for women that allows women to avoid the surgical procedure associated with tubal ligation.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/17/2013

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