Barrier Contraception

Barrier methods physically stop sperm from entering the cervix, to fertilise an egg.

Condoms

Condoms can be used to prevent pregnancy.
They are the best and only available protection against STIs.  

External Condoms

External Condom icon

88-98% effective
Single use  

Commonly known as the 'male condom,' it is a sheath made of latex or polyurethane, which is rolled onto an erect penis before sex. 

It collects the sperm and stops it from entering the vagina and uterus. 

Condoms come in different sizes and materials, it is important to choose the right size and feel for you. 

Condoms can be purchased without a prescription and are widely available from supermarkets and pharmacies/chemists. Some clinics, youth services and community health services provide them for free. 

Condoms are single use only and should be put in a bin after use.  

More information:
Better Health Channel
Family Planning Victoria

Internal Condoms

Internal Condom

79-95% effective
Single use 

Also known as the 'female condom' it is soft pouch made of latex or polyurethane, with two flexible rings at each end. The pouch is self-inserted and covers the vagina with the sealed end against the cervix. 

It can also prevent sexually transmitted infections by preventing direct contact with the penis and ejaculate to the vagina and to some extent the external vulva. 

The internal condom is single use only and should be put in a bin after use. 

More information:
Better Health Channel
Family Planning Victoria

Diaphragms

Diaphragm

82 - 86% effective
24 hour use 

A diaphragm is a shallow, cup-shape device made of silicone. You self-insert the diaphragm into your vagina using a special spermicidal gel, to cover your cervix.  

The diaphragm and gel make a barrier to prevent sperm from passing through the cervix into the uterus. 

It can be inserted up to 2 hours before sex and it must stay in place for at least 6 hours after sex. It can stay in place for a maximum of 24 hours.  

Diaphragms can be purchased without a prescription from some pharmacies, family planning clinics or online. 

Most people and their partners can't feel the diaphragm during sex. 

After you remove the diaphragm, it can be washed with soap and warm water. It should be stored in a clean place away from heat or direct sunlight.  

More information:
Better Health Channel
Family Planning Victoria