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Barrier Methods      
  sexual healing · safe sex · contraception · methods ·barrier

Barrier methods work exactly as they sound: they involve putting something between the sperm and the egg.
Cervical Cap
What it is: The FDA approved the cervical cap in 1988. It is a thimble-shaped latex cap that a doctor will fit specifically for you. How it works: The cap works similarly to the diaphragm in that it fits over the cervix; it is a different shape however. It can also be used with spermicidal cream or jelly. It can be left in for longer periods than can the diaphragm. Where to get it: A doctor must fit you for the proper size. Cost:$13 - $25 for cap. $50 - $125 for examination. Effectiveness:80-90%

Condom
What it is: A sheath made of thin latex, plastic, or animal tissue; the most effective condoms are made from latex. Lubricate condoms with spermicide to immobilize sperm and increase protection against pregnancy. They are not always a highly effective method of birth control because they are frequently put on and taken off incorrectly. How it works: You will cover penis with a sheath before intercourse to keep sperm from joining egg. Where to get it: You can buy condoms at any drugstore, online, and even from us. Cost: 50 and up. Some family planning centers give them away or charge very little. Effectiveness: 86-98%

Female Condom
What it is: A latex condom similar to that of a man's except that it is larger and fits into the woman's vagina. How it works: By fitting inside the vagina, the femal condoms works to cover the vulva and prevent semen from getting any further. Where to get it: You can purchase female condoms in some drugstores or family planning clinics. Get them at SafeSense.com and they'll give you a $3 off coupon... Cost: Usually around $2.50 Effectiveness: 79-95%

Diaphragm
What it is: It is a dome-shaped piece of thin rubber that is inserted into the bagina and fits snuggly over the cervix. A contraceptive jelly or cream is also applied to the diaphragm for maximum effectiveness. The diaphragm can be inserted into the vagina up to six hours before intercourse. How it works: The device works because it blocks sperm that remain in the vagina die after approximately eight hours. Most failures are due to improper use. Where to get it: A doctor must fit you for the proper size. Cost: $13 - $25 for diaphragm. $50 - $125 for examination. Effectiveness:80-94%

Spermicide
What it is:Spermicides take the form of contraceptive foams, creams, and jellies. They generally come in a tube or in a can along with a plastic applicator filled with the spermicide. It is inserted into the vagina before intercourse. It must be left in at least six hours after intercourse. How it works: It works by killing sperm. The inert base also helps by blocking the entrance to the cervix so sperm cannot enter. Where to get it: Cost: $8 for applicator kits of foam and gel. $4 - $8 for refills. Effectiveness: Spermicide alone is not a very effective method of birth control.

* pregnancy tests on sale at drugstore.com *



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