Barrier methods have some strengths and weaknesses, which we
will discuss on this and the next slide.
All barrier methods are effective at preventing pregnancy and
some STDs when used consistently and correctly. The degree of
effectiveness varies by method. Barrier methods are very safe,
and the rare side effects are usually mild. They have no systemic
effects. They are user-controlled and can be easily initiated
and discontinued. They allow for immediate return of fertility.
Except for the diaphragm and cervical cap, barrier methods
do not require a clinic visit and are available without prescription.
They are often available from pharmacies, community distributors
and other informal outlets.