Contraceptive Methods: A Review of Nonbarrier and Barrier Products

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Abstract

The prevention of pregnancy remains an important part of the practice of medicine. Contraception can occur at a number of points in the basic reproductive biological process and through a number of contraceptive product options. Pharmacists are health care providers appropriately positioned to assist patients in suitable contraceptive product selection based on their personal situations and lifestyles. This article provides an overview of available products for prevention of pregnancy and associated risks and benefits. Contraceptive products are categorized by their hormonal content and method of action. Hormonal options include oral contraceptive pills, contraceptive patch, implants, injection, intravaginal, and intrauterine devices. Barrier products prevent pregnancy by creating a physical obstacle to the successful fertilization of an egg by sperm. All products and methods are associated with benefits and potential complications that must be considered as patients, and health care providers select the most satisfactory option.

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