There are several over the counter contraceptives available for both men and women. Generally speaking, none of the over the counter contraceptives in this article have any side effects. The only thing you need to be aware of is a possible allergic reaction, which is also very uncommon.
The male condom is one of the most popular over the counter contraceptives. The condom can be made from latex (if you have a latex allergy or sensitivity, do not use a latex condom.) There are also condoms made from sheepskin (animal skin) and polyurethane (a synthetic durable material.) The male condom comes in several different colors including glow in the dark. The condom is easy to use - it is placed (rolled) over the erect penis before sexual intercourse. The tip of the condom catches the sperm and prevents it from entering the vagina and fertilizing an egg resulting in pregnancy; it also prevents sexually transmitted diseases. Rarely a condom will break and pregnancy will occur. If the condom breaks the emergency contraceptive pill can be obtained from a doctor, clinic, or hospital. In many states, women 17 years of age and older may purchase it from a pharmacy (you will have to ask the pharmacist as it is not an over the counter contraceptive.)
The female condom is a pouch that is inserted into the vagina or anal area. It works similar to the male condom by catching the sperm to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The female condom has flexible rings at each end. The ring at the closed end holds the pouch in place in the vagina. The ring at the open end stays outside the vagina opening during intercourse so it can easily be removed. The average cost of one female condom is between two and four dollars.
Other Over the Counter Contraceptives
Spermicide is another popular over the counter contraceptive. It is designed to kill the sperm and should be used with condom. The sponge is another over the counter contraceptive, it is a soft round barrier type of birth control. The sponge contains spermicide and is about two inches in diameter with a nylon loop for removal. These are the three over the counter contraceptives currently available. They range in price with male condoms being the most affordable and the sponge being the most expensive.