Sunday, March 04, 2007

Barrier Birth Control Methods

Feministing links to an article about SILCS, a redesigned diaphragm:

A Seattle-based international nonprofit organization, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), is working on a diaphragm redesign, the first ever in the device's 120-year history.


The new diaphragm, known as SILCS, tested well in early trials and is poised to enter the market before the end of the decade. Unlike the Ortho All-Flex, currently the most commonly prescribed diaphragm, which comes in nine sizes and requires a woman to undergo a specialized pelvic exam to be fitted with the correct size, SILCS is a "one size fits most" silicone device.


Reading the piece [SILCS (.pdf) development started in 1994, and the first trial results were available in 1998] made me realize that it's high time I bring you up-to-date on the actual diaphragm and cervical cap options available.

The following methods are part of the barrier group of birth control:

- Condom (male, female, and unisex)

- Diaphragm*

*There are several types of diaphragms (some available in the U.S.)

Ortho Coil Spring

Flat Spring

- Cervical Cap** (no longer available in the U.S.)

**There are are several types of cervical caps--Prentif (this type used to be available here), Vimule, Dumas.




- Ov├Ęs Cap

- FemCap

-Lea contraceptive

[More pics here.]

- Sponges

Bottom line: The only way you can decide which method of birth control is best for you is if you're informed about all the available options, and their pros and cons as they relate to your medical history and lifestyle. So, take advantage of your Ob/Gyn and have him/her go over all the available methods with you.

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