- Barrier methods
- Other methods
Male condoms are latex polyurethane sheaths which are put on the erect penis prior to sexual activity. They prevent pregnancy by providing a barrier to the mixing of the partners’ sexual fluids during sexual activity and play an important role in preventing the spread of STIs.
For more information, see Male Condoms.
Female condoms are transparent, loose fitting, polyurethane sheaths with a ring on each end which is inserted into the vagina prior to sexual intercourse. They create a barrier between the woman’s vagina and her partner’s penis or mouth, which prevents the mixing of fluids during sexual activity and protect against pregnancy and spread of STIs.
For more information, see Female Condoms.
A diaphragm is a flexible ring covered with a dome–shaped sheet of elastic material used in the vagina to prevent pregnancy. They have been shown to provide some protection against some STIs, but not all.
For more information, see Diaphragm.
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small T shaped plastic device that is placed inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It is a long lasting and easily reversible method of contraception and is currently the second most commonly used method worldwide following sterilisation.
For more information, see Intrauterine Device (IUD).
Vasectomy is a surgical procedure for male sterilisation, that is, surgery which makes a man unable to conceive. It involves severing the vas deferens (the tube linking the testicles to the ejaculatory ducts in the penis) and in most cases blocking or tying one or both of the severed ends. This effectively blocks the path by which sperm leave the testes.
Withdrawal is a contraceptive method in which the male partner interrupts intercourse, so that he can withdraw his penis from his partner’s vagina prior to ejaculation. It is also known as coitus interruptus or simply as “pulling out”.
For more information, see Withdrawal Contraceptive Method.
For more information on different types of contraception, male and female anatomy and related health issues, see Contraception.