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5 Non-Hormonal Birth Control Methods You Should Consider

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Birth control methods can be broadly categorized into two groups – hormonal, and non-hormonal methods.

 

Hormonal birth control methods employ synthetic hormones to prevent pregnancies. Hormones like estrogen and progestin are used to prevent ovulation, make it harder for the sperm to reach the point required for fertilization, and reduce the chances of successful fertilization in case it does.

 

While hormonal birth control methods are generally considered safe, they can lead to several side effects. This can lead some individuals to opt for non-hormonal birth control methods instead. Taking a birth control pill could cause some side effects, and getting off the pill affects the body as well.

 

Non-hormonal birth methods do not interfere with your body’s hormones. If you find yourself disproportionately affected by the side effects of hormonal birth control methods or simply don’t want to take the risk, here are five non-hormonal alternatives:

 

Cervical Cap

 

One of the barrier methods, a cervical cap is a small-sized silicone cone designed to be placed over the cervix. By blocking the cervix, it ensures that sperm is unable to reach a point where it can fertilize an egg.

 

A cervical Cap is oftentimes used in tandem with spermicide. The silicone cup is coated with spermicide before being inserted into the cervix, rendering any sperm that comes its way unusable.

 

The cervical cap can be inserted hours before sex but must be kept in place for at least 6 hours after.

 

However, a cervical cap is only 86% effective for people who have not given birth. For those who have, the effectiveness rate drops to 71%.

 

IUDs

 

An intrauterine device or IUD is a small T-shaped device that is placed inside the uterus. Similar to some other forms of birth control, the goal is to prevent any sperm from making its way to the eggs. IUDs also boast one of the highest success rates, at over 99%.

 

There are many types of IUDs, some of which are hormonal. These IUDs function by secreting tiny amounts of hormones (often similar to those used in birth control pills) into the body. Others, however, like a copper IUD, are non-hormonal.

 

In America, one of the most popular copper IUD brands is Paragard. Paragard is hormone-free and can last longer than hormonal IUDs. However, there have been multiple reports of the device breaking, leading to a Paragard lawsuit being filed due to the serious injuries caused.

 

TorHoerman Law notes that in the 1,700 lawsuits filed in the case, they all found that the device malfunctioned while being removed. If you chose to use Paragard, be extra careful while you get it removed.

 

Diaphragm

 

A diaphragm is very similar to a cervical cap, only that it is smaller. Another similarity is that a diaphragm is also commonly used with spermicide.

 

The silicone cope is placed over the cervix and is designed to block sperm from making its way to the eggs. While some diaphragms can be used for over two years, others need annual changing out.

 

According to the NHS, diaphragms have a success rate of 92-96%.

 

Spermicide

 

Spermicide is a chemical designed to prevent the entry of sperm into the uterus. Available in various gel, cream, and suppository forms, the chemical kills sperm, reducing the possibility of fertilization.

 

Similar to condoms, spermicide is inexpensive. To function, the chemical has to be placed close to the cervix, and this is often carried out with the use of an applicator.

 

The one downside of spermicide is that it has a failure rate of 21%, leading to it oftentimes being combined with other birth control methods like a cervical cap.

 

Condoms

 

The condom market is expected to reach a $16.15 billion valuation by 2028, making it a popular birth control method. Not only is it more affordable than most other contraceptive methods, but it also provides the added benefit of potentially preventing STIs due to the coverage it offers.

 

Your local drugstore likely stocks condoms for males as well as females. If used correctly, male condoms are said to be 98% effective in preventing pregnancies. Female condoms come in at 95%.

 

Generally, if you are using a condom correctly, it is unlikely that the contraceptive will fail. Yet, there is still a 2% or 5% chance of failure, in which case you might need to explore alternatives.

 

One of the biggest benefits of condoms is that they have almost no side effects, apart from the possibility of one tearing.

 

Conclusion

 

According to a UNFPA report, almost half of all pregnancies are unintended. This highlights an obvious need for birth control. However, with birth control, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Each body is different and reacts differently. While some might be okay with hormonal birth control methods, others might want to avoid the side effects.

 

Birth control technology has come a long way, and there is a different method that works for almost everyone, though none can boast a true success rate of 100%, yet.

 

 

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