Summary of Study Session 8

In Study Session 8, you have learned that:

  1. Barrier contraceptives are broadly classified into two types: mechanical barriers and chemical barriers. Mechanical barriers are devices that provide a physical barrier between the sperm and the egg while chemical barriers are known as sperm-killing substances or spermicides.
  2. The male condom is the main barrier method for men. It is a sheath that fits over the penis. It works by creating a barrier between partners so that bodily fluids, such as semen and blood, are not shared.
  3. Condoms can be very effective in preventing pregnancy and STDs when used consistently and correctly.
  4. The most important message to tell your client is that the condom must be used from ‘start to finish’ with every act of intercourse to effectively prevent pregnancy and STIs.
  5. One of the advantages of male condoms is that men of any age can use them, and using condoms enables a man to take responsibility for preventing pregnancy and diseases.
  6. The disadvantage of using male condoms is that a man’s cooperation is needed for a woman to protect herself from pregnancy.
  7. A female condom provides a barrier between partners to prevent sharing bodily fluids like semen and blood. This ensures that STIs are not passed on, and that pregnancy does not occur. It is also the only female-controlled device offering this protection.
  8. The female condom is useful because, unlike the male condom, erection is not necessary to keep the condom in place.
  9. The diaphragm is a small dome-shaped latex cup with a flexible ring that fits over the cervix. The cup acts as a physical barrier against the entry of sperm into the uterus. A diaphragm is usually used along with a spermicide.
  10. Spermicides are sperm-killing substances which work by causing the membrane of sperm cells to break, killing them or slowing their movement. This keeps the sperm from meeting an egg.

8.5.3  Advantages and disadvantages of spermicides

Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 8