Barrier methods

A. Barrier methods of contraception, such as the condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, and spermicides, have fewer side effects than hormonal contraception.

B. The diaphragm and cervical cap require fitting by a clinician and are only effective when used with a spermicide. They must be left in the vagina for six to eight hours after intercourse; the diaphragm needs to be removed after this period of time, while the cervical cap can be left in place for up to 24 hours. These considerations have caused them to be less desirable methods of contraception. A major advantage of barrier contraceptives is their efficacy in protecting against sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection.

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