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Birth Control Methods

Eventually, there is bound to come into existence a perfectly safe, foolproof, easy to use method of birth control; but that day is not yet. At present, the proper use of birth control devices, particularly in the case of a woman is largely a problem of medical instruction and should be worked out by each couple through consultation with a physician (Lehfeldt, 1960b). Consequently, no overly detailed instructions in this regard will be given in this chapter, but merely a serviceable outline of available techniques. There are several major kinds of contraceptive methods, available today and these will now be briefly discussed.

          Male instruments.The main male instrument of birth control is the condom or sheath (popularly called a "rubber"). This is usually made of rubber or animals skin. Rubber condoms are small sleeve like jackets which are first rolled up and then rolled onto the penis to control the pregnancy. They are usually put on the penis when it is erect; but it is also possible, in many instances., to roll them on to the unerect penis and thereby to prepare for intercourse before love play starts, rather than interrupt this play for donning the condom.

          Condoms may be tested, to see if any holes exists, by filling them with water or blowing them up like a balloon, to see if any air escapes. It is often advisable to put a little lubricant, such as K-Y surgical jelly or spermicidal jelly, on the inside and outside of the condom before placing it on the penis; otherwise, lack of sensation may result (Lewin and Gilmore, 1951). It is also advisable to leave a little loose end at the tip of the condom, instead of rolling it tightly on the penis, as rubber condoms may burst if there is no space in which semen may accumulate after ejaculation.

          If rubber condoms are of first class construction, they may often be washed and dried after intercourse steps, rubbed with talcum powder on both sides,and re-rolled and stored for future use.They may then be tested again just prior to re use.

          Condoms made of animals skins are put on when wet, instead of when dry, and are often used repeatedly before disposal. Most men find them less convenient than rubber sheaths but some find them preferable, particularly because they tend to interfere less with penile sensation.

          To have maximum contraceptive effectiveness, condoms should normally be used in conjunction with a spermicidal jelly which may be applied on the outside or inside the tip of the condom and may serve as a lubricant as well. or else a condom can be used in conjunction with physical methods, the so-called safe period, or other methods outlined below. Used entirely by itself, it is a reliable but hardly a foolproof method of birth control. it also has the disadvantages of reducing the sensation of many men and their female partners. On the other hand, it has the advantage of prolonging the ejaculation time of some males who usually reach orgasm very quickly.

          In using a condom, care should be taken, after ejaculation, to see that it is grasped firmly at the top and that it comes out with the penis. Otherwise, semen may leak over the top of the condom and lead to impregnation.

          Female instruments.The main female instrument which is presently employed for contraceptive purposes is the rubber diaphragm, which fits over the entrance to the uterus and blocks the semen from entering the womb.

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