Are you in the market for non-hormonal birth control? We’ll help you sort through the options.
There are many reasons for women to avoid hormonal birth control, especially when hormonal birth control tampers with nature and causes 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 hormonal birth control*. Additionally, if you are a woman past thirty-five years of age or smoke cigarettes, hormonal contraception puts you at higher risk of blood clots and stroke.
There is no one-size-fits-all perfect choice of contraception since we all have different needs, preferences, and maybe in different life stages. After reading our roundup of options, we hope that you’ll be one step closer to finding your ideal non-hormonal birth control method.
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 works by decreasing the sperm’s ability to move or pass through the cervix. It is safe, effective, and long-lasting, can be inserted by your OB/GYN, and costs between $300 and $1,000 but lasts up to 10 years. Some women find that their monthly period will lengthen a bit on the Paragard IUD, although the fact that they don’t need to think about birth control for 10 years may make that inconvenience worth it. This method is ideal if you’re in a long-term, committed relationship, as an IUD does not protect against STDs.
If you are looking for shorter-term barrier methods, here are other options:
The Cervical Cap (FemCap) is a silicone cup inserted into the vagina before sex 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. They are, however, very effective when used in conjunction with one of the barrier methods, such as a condom, diaphragm, or sponge.
Fertility awareness-based methods (FAMs) are ways to track ovulation to prevent pregnancy. These methods require training and ongoing intimate awareness of your body’s rhythms. Some people call this method “natural family planning.”
The Diaphragm is a shallow cup of silicone 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. The diaphragm must be used with spermicide to be as effective as possible.
And introducing…drumroll please… The Caya Diaphragm. If 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.