Birth Control Methods Found Over the Counter
By Dawn Stacey M.Ed, LMHC, About.com Guide
A male condom is a thin sheath made of latex rubber, polyurethane (plastic), or animal membrane. It fits over a man's erect penis during intercourse and is considered an effective over-the-counter, barrier method of reversible birth control. Other than a vasectomy, the condom is the only available method of birth control used by men. It is also one of the few birth control methods that can help protect against sexually transmitted infections.
- All About Male Condoms
- Before You Buy Condoms
- How To Use Condoms/Prevent Condom Failure
- Are Two Condoms Better Than One?
- Wondering What Condoms Are Made Of?
- How To Put a Condom on with Your Mouth
- The Sir Richard's Condom Company Buy One/Give One Initiative
- How Do I Choose a Condom?
- Share Your Tip: Where Do You Store Your Condoms?
- Do Condom Sizes Really Matter?
- Condom Quiz
- How to Respond to Men's Excuses to Not Wear Condoms
- Safely Storing Condoms
- Do I Need a Condom for Pool or Hot Tub sex?
- How to Determine Penis and Condom Size
- Share: Concerned About How Companies Make Condoms?
- Share: What Was Your Man's Condom Excuse and How Did You Respond?
- Condom Size Chart
Types of Condoms
When you are choosing types of condoms, it's important to think about what you are going to be using them for. Male condoms come in many shapes, styles, lengths, widths and strengths for condom use. Different types of condoms are made from various materials. Factors to consider when choosing among the available types of condoms include: size, strength (regular or thicker strength), lubrication or dry, shape (various contoured condoms have shapes to make for a more comfortable fit), type of reservoir tip (i.e. spiral), textures, such as ribs and bumps/studs, ease of putting on, and novelty types of condoms. Some of these (like colored condoms) offer contraceptive protection while others are just for fun.
- Different Types/Styles of Condoms
- Latex Condoms
- Polyurethane Condoms
- SKYN – Non Latex Condoms
- Lambskin Condoms
- Share Your Opinion: What Are Your Favorite Condom Types?
- Sensis Condoms
- Kimono MicroThin Condoms Plus Aqua Lube
- Sir Richard's Condoms
- KYNG Extra Large Condoms
- What are the Best Condoms or the Worst Condoms?
Female condoms are polyurethane (plastic) pouches with flexible rings at each end. They collect semen and prevent the sperm from entering the woman's body. Female condoms are a reversible barrier method of birth control and can be helpful in the protection against many sexually transmitted diseases.
- New Female Condom Wins FDA Approval
- FDA Panel Endorses a New Female Condom
- Effectiveness: Compare the Female Condom to Other OTC Contraceptives
The sponge is a soft, round barrier device that is about two inches in diameter. It is made of solid polyurethane foam, contains spermicide, and has a nylon loop attached to the bottom for removal. It covers the cervix (opening to the uterus), and it blocks sperm from entering it. Although taken off the market in 1995 and then again in 2008, the sponge is now available as a reversible method of birth control.
- What is the Sponge?
- Where Can I Buy Today Sponge?
- Inserting the Today Sponge
- The Sponge and Other Over-the-Counter Choices
Spermicide is a contraceptive method that immobilizes sperm. It can bebought over-the-counter. Vaginal contraceptives are available in several forms: spermicidal jelly, cream, foam, tablets, suppositories, the sponge, and film.
- Definition of Spermicide
- Types of Spermicide
- VCF: Vaginal Contraceptive Film
- Contraceptive Sponge
Personal lubricants are specialized lubricants that help reduce friction during sexual intercourse. Water-based lubricants are water soluble and are the most widely available personal lubricant on the market. Silicone-based lubricants do not absorb into the skin, so they provide a durable glide. They typically do not cause allergic reactions or skin irritations. Lubricants containing silicone stay slippery longer than those that are water-based. There are also oil-based lubrication. Only water-based lubricants and certain brands of silicone-based lubrication are safe to use with latex condoms.
- Wet Gellee
- Silicone-Based Lubricants
- Product Review: Wet Naturals Beautifully Bare Water Lubricant
- Lubricants for Water Sex
- Product Review: Astroglide Personal Lubricant
Morning After Pill
Plan B One-Step is the name of progestin-only birth control pill approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically for emergency contraception. It is also known as the morning after pill. Plan B One-Step is available OTC to individuals 17 years of age or older. The morning after pill can be used up to 5 days (120) hours after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure.
- Plan B One-Step
- Next Choice One Dose
- Next Choice (Generic Plan B)
- Original Plan B
- How to Buy and Use Plan B One-Step
- Who Can Buy Plan B One-Step?
- The Emergency Contraception/Plan B Debate
- How Plan B Works
- Emergency Contraception Quiz
There are many different types and brands of home pregnancy tests, but they all work in the same way: They check a woman's urine for presence of hCG hormone. Blood pregnancy tests check for the same hCG hormone, only these detect the hormone in the blood and must be performed at a doctor's office. Learn about pregnancy tests, when to take them, and how accurate they are.