A Condom is a thin rubber device shaped like the finger of a glove. It is placed over the man's erect penis before intercourse and prevents the sperm from escaping into the vagina. It is often called a 'rubber' or a 'safe'. It is available everywhere without prescription. If the condom is new, and if the man does not use it while the woman's vagina is very dry and not slippery, and if when he puts it on he leaves a small space at the end of the penis to receive the ejaculated semen, and if he carefully holds the condom in place with his fingers and withdraws his penis before he loses his erection so that no semen will spill into the vagina, then it is a very effective means of contraception. Also, there must be no continuation of intercourse without changing condoms. If condoms are carelessly or inexpertly used, they are not reliable.
Chemicals include a number of foams, creams and jellies which the woman places in her vagina and which may block or kill the sperm and thus prevent fertiliza- tion of the egg. These are not nearly so effective as the methods described above, even when carefully used according to instructions, but they are better than nothing. They are available at chemists without prescription.
Rhythm Method :
The Rhythm Method is a method of birth control based on the possibility of a 'safe-period' before and after ovulation when a woman is not fertile, when she might have intercourse without conceiving a child. The theory is that if a couple have intercourse only during these safe periods, they may succeed, by a 'natural' method, in limiting the number of children they have. However, science has not been able to find an easy and satisfactory way of telling just when ovulation occurs, so that for most women the rhythm method is not reliable.
There is no time a woman may be sure she is absolutely 'safe' during her monthly cycle, except the first three or four days of her menstrual period. The rhythm method has been the only one up to the present approved by the Catholic Church, but high officials are studying this serious question to see if a method of contraception can be found and approved that will help members of Roman Catholic faith. At present, many parish priests leave it up to the conscience of the Catholic couple whether or not to use the pill, and many Catholics decide to follow their own consciences without asking the Church what to do.
Withdrawal is an old and commonly used method. It requires tha man to withdraw his penis from the woman's vagina just before ejaculation so that the semen is deposited well away from her vagina. The withdrawal method is highly unrealiable because the man may not withdraw his penis soon enough, or his penis, even before ejaculation, may secrete a small quantity of fluid contain- ing sperm. However, it is a lot better than nothing, and it was the method used to bring birth rates down in certain countries of Europe before modern contraceptives were available.