Barrier Methods of Birth Control

How does it work?

  • Soft rubber dome that fits over the cervix and prevents sperm from reaching the cervix
  • Must be used with a contraceptive jelly (spermicide) to kill the sperm
  • Can be inserted into the vagina up to 6 hours before intercourse
  • Must remain in for at least 6 hours after intercourse, but no longer than 24 hours due to risk of toxic shock syndrome


  • 84-94% effective
  • Reusable method - can be washed with soap and water and used again
  • Inserted only when needed
  • Non-hormonal method
  • Spermicidal jelly can act as a lubricant


  • Need to add more spermicidal jelly if you have sex more than once
  • Requires visit to a doctor to be fitted
  • Can be messy
  • Will need to be refitted with weight gain/loss of 10 lbs, following pregnancy or pelvic surgery
  • Woman must be comfortable with insertion and removal
  • Cannot be used during menstrual period
  • Increased risk of bladder and yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis
  • Must be washed after every use, checked for holes and stored in cool, dry place
  • No protection against STIs, including HIV
  • May cause irritation from the spermicide and/or the latex in the diaphragm, therefore increasing risk of HIV or STIs, if exposed
  • Can become dislodged during sex and other strenuous activities
  • Contains latex so cannot be used if allergic to latex