Are you in the market for a non-hormonal method of birth control?
There are reasons you may choose to avoid hormones. These types of methods certainly do tamper with nature and may cause unwanted side effects. Nausea, headaches, depression bloating, breast tenderness, weight gain and lowered sex drive are all possible effects that have been reported by women who have used birth control pills*. Additionally, if you are a woman past thirty five years of age or if you smoke cigarettes, using hormonal contraception puts you at higher risk for some serious diseases (Think blood clots and strokes)!
There is no one-size-fits-all perfect choice, since we all have different needs, preferences and may be in different life stages. We hope that after reading our roundup of options, you’ll be one step closer to finding your ideal non-hormonal birth control method! Read on…
For long lasting birth control, nothing beats the Copper IUD (also known as the Paragard Copper IUD). This is a small, “T-shaped” device inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It is safe, effective, and long lasting. It is inserted by your OB/GYN, and costs between $300 and $1,000, but lasts up to 12 years! It works by affecting the way sperm move so they can’t join with an egg. This method is ideal if you’re in a long-term, committed relationship, as it does not protect against STDs. Some women find that their monthly period will lengthen a bit on the Paragard, although the fact that they don’t need to think about birth control for 12 years may make that inconvenience worth it!
If you are looking for shorter term barrier methods, here are some options:
The Cervical Cap (FemCap) is a silicone cup inserted into the vagina before sex in order to prevent pregnancy. It is safe, effective, and convenient. It lasts for up to two years and costs about $0–$75.
The Sponge (Today Sponge) is a foam sponge containing spermicide that is inserted into the vagina up to 24 hours before intercourse. A package of three sponges costs $9–$15 at your local pharmacy.
Condoms come in male and female varieties and are excellent at preventing pregnancy, as well as STDs
Spermicides when used alone are not very effective. It is, however, very effective when combined with one of the barrier methods like the condom, diaphragm or the sponge.
Fertility awareness-based methods (FAMs) are ways to track ovulation in order to prevent pregnancy. Some people call this method “natural family planning.” There are various methods which are beyond the scope of this blog. These methods all require training and ongoing intimate awareness of your body’s rhythms.
The Diaphragm is a shallow cup made of silicone that is inserted into the vagina and blocks the cervix. You will need to have it fitted by your doctor. Diaphragms prevent pregnancy by keeping sperm from joining with an egg. In order to be as effective as possible, the diaphragm must be used with spermicide.
And introducing…drumroll please… The Caya Diaphragm. In case you were wondering if there’s anything new, I am happy to report that there is! The Caya Diaphragm just hit the market. This is the newest version of the diaphragm, which was last updated in the nineteen sixties! With this version, you do not need a doctor’s visit to get sized. It is one-size-fits-all.
For more in depth/detailed information about any of these birth control methods, please visit http://www.plannedparenthood.com
We wish you success in your quest to find the best possible method for you!