Top 4 Non-hormonal Birth Control Methods
Most women have phobia for family planning, in their defense; it messes with their health in different ways such as having constant headaches, bleeding or spotting, reduced urge for sex, mood swings, inability to conceive months ( after discontinuing the birth control), and weight gain among other reasons. The effects make a lot of woman resolve to withdrawal method which is highly not reliable or deprive themselves or their partner of sexual intimacy. Still others have successfully use the hormonal methods without any adverse effects to their health.
Hormonal birth control methods such as birth control pills and hormonal implants change a woman’s hormone levels to prevent her body from getting pregnant. While it is reliable and convenient, it may not be the best option for some people because hormonal birth control doesn’t protect from getting STIs, may increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer or blood clots
On the other hand, non-hormonal birth control doesn’t meddle with hormones with condoms being the most popular option. I will share a few non-hormonal birth control types including their advantages and disadvantages.
Barrier methods- They work by physically coming between a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm.
- Diaphragm: It is a saucer- shaped silicone cup inserted into the vagina to prevent semen from entering the womb. If used properly and with a spermicide, you have 6 percent chances of getting pregnant after a year of use. However, the odds increase if you don’t use it always or correctly as it is normal used. You can use the diaphragm just before having sex and you have to leave it in for a minimum of 8 hours after the act. It’s reusable for 12 months. However, if you decide to have a baby, stop using it. It doesn’t protect you from STDs and it may increase your risk to vaginal or urinary tract infections.
- Cervical cap: This tiny hat-shaped piece of silicone is placed over the cervix to block the sperm. Like with the diaphragm, you have to be fitted by your doctor and use it with spermicide. This method can fail by 20 percent of the time, that is, 20 out of 100 women who use it will become pregnant in a year. Cervical cap can be left on for about 48 hours (2 days) after sex. You can stop it anytime you decide to get pregnant. It doesn’t prevent STD and can increase your risk of bladder infections. It is also not recommended if you have sex at least three times a week or have a history of pelvic diseases.
- Copper IUD: It’s a T-shaped plastic piece; it is a non-hormonal type of intrauterine device. It is inserted into the uterus (womb) the device is wrapped in a copper which is toxic to sperm and prevents them from swimming through the vagina to reach the egg. It prevents fertilized egg from attaching to the womb. IUDs are some of the best forms of birth control, although copper versions are less effective than hormone based IUDs. Still, they prevent pregnancy more than 99 percent of the time. This type of IUD can be left for 10 years and can work as emergency contraception up to 5 days after an unprotected sex. It doesn’t prevent STDs and can cause cramps or bleeding between periods.
- Spermicide: A chemical substance is inserted into the vagina to kill or inactivate sperm. An over the counter product, it is available in gels, foams and suppositories. Using it alone can fail about 28 percent of the time; it can be used with condoms, diaphragms, and with other contraceptives for more effectiveness. Some can be allergic to a certain chemical present in spermicide, you should avoid rinsing your vagina for at least 8 hours after using one. It doesn’t protect against STDs such as HIV and it may cause infection due to vagina irritation.
Other non-hormonal options are tracking your menstrual cycle and avoiding sex or using condoms during your fertile period. Using condoms (male and female), surgical methods such as sterilization (although 100 percent effective but it’s ideal for people who are done having babies), vagina gels, and withdrawal method (not reliable).
Finally, you can speak with your healthcare provider or visit a reliable family planning center and discuss with your health provider for the best option.