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What Is Barrier Birth Control?

What Is Barrier Birth Control?

The time is just not right to start a family and you want to back up this decision with birth control. There are many different ways to prevent pregnancy, and wading through your options can be confusing.

While Dr. Fernando Otero and the team here at Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley offer a wide range of family planning options, we’re going to make the world of birth control a little clearer by focusing our discussion on one type here — barrier birth control. 

Preventing a connection

In order to conceive, sperm has to reach, and fertilize, an egg in your fallopian tubes, at which point the now fertilized egg makes its way to your uterus.

The goal behind barrier birth control is to prevent sperm from reaching your egg in the first place.

Different types of barrier birth control

There are many ways to prevent sperm from reaching your eggs, including a:

Technically speaking, we should also include a vasectomy and tubal ligation among these options.

Advantages of barrier birth control methods

There are several reasons why women prefer barrier birth control methods. For some, the alternative of hormonal birth control, a technique in which we regulate your reproductive hormones to prevent ovulation, isn’t desirable. Perhaps you don’t want to tinker with your hormone levels or you’ve already tried and you experienced unpleasant side effects.

Another benefit of certain barrier birth control options — male and female condoms — is that you can also protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you consider that STDs are at all-time highs, with 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea in 2019 alone, condoms can be a wise choice.

Disadvantages of barrier birth control methods

The major drawback of most barrier birth control methods is that they’re only as good as you use them. Barrier birth control methods require a little effort on your part, such as ensuring that you apply spermicide to your sponge or diaphragm.

As well, you need to make sure that your birth control is on hand when you need it, and you’ll need to take a moment to make sure everything is in place.

Lastly, accidents can happen, such as condoms breaking or a cervical cap slipping, which can lower your protection against pregnancy.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you and what best suits your lifestyle and your goals. Of course, we’re happy to sit down with you to review your birth control options to come up with the best solution. To get started, please contact one of our offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas, to schedule an appointment.

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