Non hormonal birth control

There are many different types of birth control options that vary in terms of cost, effectiveness, and duration. Condoms are the only birth control form that can protect you against both pregnancy and various sexually transmitted infections. Please note that no form of birth control is perfect. All you need to do is to learn more about birth control alternatives and then decide on the perfect match for you. 

Why Use Non Hormonal Birth Control?

Hormonal birth control is highly effective, but it can lead to certain undesirable risks or side effects. It's linked to higher occurrences of stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer. The use of hormonal birth control with estrogen during breastfeeding is also strictly prohibited. 

Some people have reported reduced sexual desire, elevated risk of sexual pain problems, mood changes, etc., when using the hormonal contraceptive pill. That’s the main reason why people have started seeking hormone-free or non hormonal birth control alternatives.

Popular Non Hormonal Birth Control Methods

There is a wide range of non hormonal birth control options available. We will have a closer look at each of your options to expand your knowledge and help you choose the most suitable one.

Diaphragm

A diaphragm is shaped like a saucer and is composed of silicone. It needs to be placed into your vagina by a healthcare provider before sexual intercourse. After you learn the correct way of using it, you can place it without any assistance. 

Once placed, it will prevent the sperm from entering the uterus. Wait for at least six hours to remove it after the last time when you had sex. Bear in mind that a diaphragm shouldn’t be left in your vagina for more than 24 hours in a row. 

Pros

  • You may choose to carry your own diaphragm and use it before your planned sexual intercourse. 
  • It is reusable, and you can use a diaphragm for about 12 months.

Cons

  • A diaphragm doesn’t offer protection against sexually transmitted diseases
  • You need to leave the diaphragm for at least eight hours after sex
  • You may be more susceptible to develop vaginal or urinary tract infections

Cervical Cap

As the name suggests, the cervical cap is a small hat-shaped cap that you need to put over the cervix to keep out sperm. As with a diaphragm, you need to consult your healthcare provider to learn its correct usage. 

Pros

  • You could leave the cervical cap for about 48 hours after sex and try to get pregnant any number of times. 

Cons

  • It doesn’t prevent sexually transmitted infections
  • It can elevate your odds of developing bladder infections
  • Healthcare providers don't recommend using a cervical cap if you have sexual intercourse three or more times a week or have a history of pelvic disorders.

Copper IUD

It is a non hormonal birth control intrauterine device (IUD) that goes directly into your uterus. This IUD is wrapped in copper, which is toxic to sperm and thus prevents them from floating through the vagina to reach your egg. In this way, it keeps the fertilized egg from linking to your womb. 

Pros

  • You can leave a copper intrauterine device for about ten years
  • It can act as emergency contraception upto five days after unprotected sex.

Cons

  • It doesn’t offer protection against sexually transmitted infections
  • The use of copper IUD can lead to bleeding or cramps between periods.

Sponge

The contraceptive sponge is another popular non hormonal birth control method. It is composed of a foam and is inserted into the vagina before sex, working as a barrier between the sperm and the cervix. It is a single-use method that is meant to be used with spermicide, which kills sperm. 

Pros

  • It feels like your vaginal tissue
  • You can have sex several times in a day with one insert
  • You can discontinue using it and endeavor to start a family straight away

Cons

  • It won’t offer protection against sexually transmitted infections

Spermicide

Spermicide is a chemical that you need to put into your vagina to kill or paralyze sperm. You may obtain spermicide over-the-counter from any leading physical or online pharmacies. It is available in several forms, including gel, cream, or foam. 

Pros

  • Easily accessible
  • Inexpensive
  • Available over-the-counter
  • It causes no adverse systemic effects

Cons

  • Some people could be allergic to nonoxynol-9, the main chemical used in spermicide
  • You should not wash your vagina for about eight hours after utilizing a spermicide
  • It doesn’t offer protection against sexually transmitted infections. 

Also Read: 07 Best Ways To Mitigate The Risk Of Stillbirth

Vaginal Gel

Kindly use an applicator to put vagina gel into your vagina before sex. It maintains the pH level in the vagina and allows the sperm to proceed to the reproductive canal to reach the egg.

Pros

  • Vaginal gel, when used in combination with a condom, will provide you extra protection against unwanted pregnancies and various STIs too.

Cons

  • It should be used before sex and reapplied within an hour if you don’t have intercourse.
  • It also needs to reapply over and over again after each sexual drive
  • It won’t protect you against sexually transmitted infections
  • Certain people may be allergic to it and develop an infection or an irritation. 

Male Condom

Male condoms will roll onto your penis and keep sperm inside it during sexual intercourse. These are one of the most popular and widely available non hormonal birth control methods. You can buy male condoms easily from any pharmacy without having to submit a prescription for the same. 

Pros

  • This is the only birth control alternative that prevents not only unwanted pregnancies but also various sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. 
  • Male condoms are easily available at a wide range of physical drug stores and online pharmacies at economical prices. Certain health clinics even provide them for free.
  • You need not obtain a doctor’s prescription to buy male condoms.
  • You may use them anytime with not much preparation. 
  • Available in a number of flavors and textures which offer enhanced sexual experience. 

Cons

  • Male condoms can fail to prevent unwanted pregnancies when used incorrectly.
  • Some people with latex allergies may not be able to use regular latex condoms. They could use polyurethane condoms or those made with lambskin, which is costlier than regular condoms. 
  • Excessive friction during sex can cause the condoms to tear, and this may lead to unwanted pregnancies. 
  • Once ejaculated, males should pull it out of the vagina before the penis becomes flaccid to keep the condom from slipping and inadvertently releasing the smen into the vagina.

Female Condom

Not as popular as male condoms, female condoms are basically a plastic pouch that needs to be inserted into the vagina right before sexual intercourse. It has flexible rings at both ends. The one at the closed-end keeps it in place, whereas the ring at the open end remains outside of the vagina during intercourse.

Pros

  • As with male condoms, female condoms also offer protection against sexually transmitted infections.
  • An erect penis is not needed to keep the female condoms in their place.
  • Don’t have any significant side effects or allergic reactions
  • It is suitable for even those with latex allergies.
  • Female condoms work instantly.  

Cons

  • It requires practice to insert female condoms correctly. Kindly try to insert it multiple times before actually using them in sex. 
  • You may feel a little discomfort during intercourse.
  • If the condom stays too long inside the vagina, it may lead to urinary tract infection.
  • It may create unanticipated sounds during sexual intercourse, which can hamper your mood and sexual experience.
  • Female condoms are not reusable.

Sterilization

Two types of surgeries fall into this category. The first one, called tubal ligation, obstructs a woman’s fallopian tubes to keep an egg from reaching the uterus. The second one, called a vasectomy, plugs the tubes that move the sperm out of a man’s testes.

Pros

  • It lasts forever.
  • It doesn’t interrupt sex.
  • It is known to be highly effective
  • Sterilization doesn’t get affected by any other medications.
  • This non hormonal birth control method is suitable for those who never wish to get pregnant and are seeking a permanent contraceptive option. 

Cons

  • It doesn't offer protection against sexually transmitted infections.
  • You may require general anesthesia.
  • It might lead to tubal pregnancy.
  • It can cause pain, bleeding, or infection after surgery.
  • Sterilizations need to be done by a healthcare provider.



Sources:

https://www.prevention.com/sex/a20494264/10-non-hormonal-birth-control-methods/

https://www.healthline.com/health/birth-control/non-hormonal-birth-control#natural-family-planning

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-pacific-southwest/blog/12-types-of-birth-control

https://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/non-hormonal-birth-control-options