Less reliable methods
There are other methods based on the principle of creating a barrier, somewhat less effective. If they suit you more, use them, it's better than nothing. Such means include substances that destroy sperm, and special tampons.
Chemicals immobilize or kill sperm. They are used in the form of pastes, foaming agents, suppositories, films, etc. The active ingredient in most of them is a nonoxynol-9 chemical that reduces the likelihood of transmission of infections, both bacterial and viral.
The probability of pregnancy with the use of the described means can reach 28 percent, although usually it is about 13 percent. Efficiency is enhanced if you simultaneously use a method based on creating a barrier for sperm, for example a cap, a swab or a condom.
The tampon has the shape of a pad, is made of polyurethane and contains nonoxynol-9, that is, it combines the properties of both chemical and mechanical means. The tampon absorbs semen, and the nonoxynol contained in it kills the spermatozoa. It is inserted into the vagina in such a way that the concave side closes the cervix; this form reduces the likelihood of bias. The tampon is provided with an eyelet facilitating removal. All tampons are the same size and are sold without a prescription. They provide protection for 24 hours regardless of the number of intercourses. After use, they are thrown away.
Tampons are ineffective in 17-25 cases out of 100. The chemical substance contained in them reduces the risk of transmission of infections, both bacterial and viral.
However, tampons can cause allergic reactions and irritation, vaginal dryness, itching, burning, an unpleasant smell and increased secretions. They can increase the risk of reproduction of yeast-like fungi and very rarely lead to the emergence of toxic shock syndrome.
A tampon is not the best protection option for those women who put effectiveness first. However, it has a number of advantages. Tampons are cheap, easy to use, do not require a visit to the doctor and protect against infection.
So which contraceptive is right for you?
Make a decision and discuss it with your doctor. But remember that choosing a contraceptive is only half the battle. The second half is correct to use it.
See also: Oral contraceptives. Sexually transmitted diseases.