Medicine: Blocks And Barriers

More than half a million U.S. women are unable to bear children because their Fallopian tubes have been blocked or damaged, usually by sexually transmitted infections. Yet the risk of tubal infertility can easily be reduced. How? By the use of so-called barrier contraceptives -- diaphragms, cervical caps and condoms -- which bar the passage of sperm into the uterus.

That was the conclusion reported last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association by a team led by Gynecologist Daniel Cramer of Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. After studying past contraceptive use by 283 childless women with tubal infertility...

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