What If You Cannot Use Hormonal Contraceptives
Some contraceptives work by using hormones that are similar to the hormones women produce naturally. These hormones are oestrogen and progestogen.
Contraceptives that contain these hormones aren’t suitable for some women, such as those who have medical conditions like breast cancer.
Not all contraceptive methods use hormones. Some work in other ways, including:
How Effective Is This Type Of Birth Control
FDA approval for this product is based on a multisite study that enrolled sexually active women ages 18 to 35 . Women who participated had regular menstrual cycles and a single male partner. They agreed to just use Phexxi for birth control except for morning-after, emergency birth control, if necessary and engage in heterosexual intercourse at least three times during each cycle throughout the study.
Results collected over seven cycles show that nearly 14% of 1,183 women who completed the study became pregnant.
Overall, the efficacy rate of Phexxi is 86% for typical use.
Phexxi can be combined with some other forms of birth control to increase the odds of preventing pregnancy. Compared with other nonhormonal birth control methods it seems to be more effective at preventing pregnancy than withdrawal natural family planning barrier methods such as condoms and diaphragms and most spermicides . However, as a nonhormonal option, the copper intrauterine device is far more effective.
How Well Do They Work
How well a diaphragm prevents pregnancy depends a lot on whether you use it correctly. Six out of 100 women will get pregnant with the diaphragm if they use it perfectly every time. Most people make mistakes sometimes, so the typical rate is more like 12 to 18 out of 100. Thatâs more effective than condoms or other barrier methods, but less effective than sterilization, intrauterine devices , or birth control pills.
There are some risks that come with a diaphragm. The most serious one is toxic shock syndrome, a condition you get from a bacterial infection. You can avoid it by not leaving a diaphragm in for more than 24 hours. The device also can cause irritation or a reaction if youâre allergic to latex. And some women get urinary tract infections more often when they use a diaphragm.
Read Also: How To Safely Increase Testosterone
Withdrawal As A Birth Control Method
Unintended pregnancy in one year of use: 20% typical use, 4% perfect use .
The withdrawal method involves removing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation . It does not protect against STIs. Couples who use withdrawal correctly each time may find that it works well for them . Perfect use can be difficult and the chance of pregnancy increases with typical use . Some research shows that pre-ejaculatory fluid can leak before ejaculation . If this happens, sperm could enter the vagina even with perfect use .
Did You Know Hormonal Birth Control Are Abortifacients Too
Sadly, this is something most women arent aware of before they are prescribed HBC.
There are three ways that different contraceptive medications and devices prevent pregnancy:
The first two mechanisms listed are considered barrier methods, meaning they are true pregnancy prevention methods that prevent the sperm from reaching the egg.
However, the third mechanism, which thins the lining of the uterus to prevent a newly conceived baby from implanting, is used as a fail-safe in all forms of hormonal birth control, including the pill, the implant, IUD, the shot, the ring, and the patch.
In the event that the first two mechanisms fail and the sperm successfully reaches and fertilizes the egg, the third mechanism is put in place so that the lining of the uterus is thinned, making the body inhospitable for a baby. Rather than implanting on the uterine wall, the embryo will die.
A long-term thinning of the uterine lining can also damage your bodys ability to rebuild, causing infertility and miscarriage in the future.
How Does It Work
Phexxi is a contraceptive gel consisting of three active ingredients: lactic acid, citric acid, and potassium bitartrate.
To understand how it works to help prevent pregnancy, lets go back to the acids and bases of high school chemistry class. The vagina is naturally acidic, with a pH around 4. Semen is basic, with a pH around 7.5.
Normally when semen enters the vagina, it temporarily causes the pH to become more basic to ensure the survival of sperm. However, the three ingredients in the gel keep the vagina acidic. This helps immobilize sperm to keep them from swimming up the vaginal canal and through the cervix to reach and fertilize an egg. The gel also coats the cervix, which may prevent sperm from reaching the uterus.
What Are The Cons
- The diaphragm doesnât protect against STDs.
- You have to remember to reapply spermicide every time you have sex.
- It can be tough and messy to put one in.
- You can use it during your period, but it may put you at higher risk for an infection if it isn’t removed soon after sex.
- You might knock it out of place during sex.
- You have to see a doctor to get one.
Read Also: Does Jacking Off Cause Low Testosterone
What Forms Of Birth Control Are Effective For Avoiding Pregnancy
Sexiness is imperfect and personal. There are as many unplanned pregnancies as there are planned in the US. Lets start with the research on which forms of birth control work in the heat of the moment. View the effectiveness of different birth control methods measured by unintended pregnancies in 2013.
Common sense tells us that thewithdrawal methodand natural family planning are both fairly effective forms of birth control when used perfectly. The results of the above report on unintended pregnancies shows that in the real sexy world, IUDs are our best option for avoiding pregnancy.
The Birth Control Sponge
Another non-hormonal method of contraception is the birth control sponge. Before intercourse, the sponge is placed inside the vagina where it sits against the cervix and releases spermicide. It works both by blocking the uterus and by slowing down sperm so they cant reach and fertilize the egg.
The sponge has a small loop for removal and it should be left in the vagina for at least 6 hours after sex but for no longer than 30 hours. This non-hormonal birth control method is not reusable. The sponge is between 76% and 88% effective and can be used with the condom to increase effectiveness.
Don’t Miss: Do Hormone Pellets Help You Lose Weight
Natural Methods Of Contraception
Natural methods or fertility awareness methods of contraception include rhythm, symptothermal, cervical mucus observation and basal temperature methods. They are based on you monitoring your bodily signs daily , such as changes to your bodys temperature and to your vaginal fluid. This is to determine when you are potentially fertile during your menstrual cycle.Practising natural methods of contraception requires you to abstain from sex when you could get pregnant. Depending on your menstrual cycle, you may need to abstain from sex for up to 16 days.Fertility awareness methods are not recommended in some circumstances for example if you:
- have a fever, vaginal infection or polycystic ovary syndrome
- regularly travel through different time zones
- are under stress.
The effectiveness of natural family planning varies, depending on which method or combination of methods is used.
Where’s The Demand For New Birth Control
The Roe decision amplifies the urgency.
With more open conversation about contraceptive needs, the next decade could be an exciting time for nonhormonal contraception, Lai said. These conversations, he believes, could help pharmaceutical investors see a real demand.
NIH funds early stage nonhormonal birth control research, but Johnston agreed that investment in the methods isnt where it needs to be. Products cant get to pharmacy shelves unless the biopharma industry steps in to fund drug development, but its difficult to determine how many women want hormone-free birth control options. Pharmaceutical companies usually want to see clear demand before investing in a product.
Worldwide, there were more than 151 million users on the hormonal pill in 2019, according to to a report from the United Nations. Analysts say sales of all hormonal contraceptives made the global market for these options worth more than $15 billion in 2020 a value thats estimated to grow to more than $20 billion by 2030.
From a business perspective, the contraceptive market seems to be healthy and growing, reads a 2020 commentary in the journal Nature. Yet the demand from women for transformational change is not reflected as a reduction in sales.
Hormonal contraceptives work tremendously well, said Johnston. But they basically involve the changing of the expression of hundreds, if not thousands, of genes, to give you the effect.
Don’t Miss: How Much Is Too Much Melatonin To Take
My Experience With Birth Control
Before we get started, I want to share a bit of my backstory so you understand that Ive gone through what you may be going through or may have gone through if you didnt read this post. Ill keep it short and you can read the longer version here.
- began to get pretty bad acne
- HORRIBLE period cramps began
- heavy bleeding began
- MOOD SWING CENTRAl.. sorry for anyone involved back then!
- stayed on BC until 11th grade when I decided something was not right
- skin broke back out due to hormone dependance
- awakened to natural health and healing
- off the birth control for about a year and a half
- started to loose that extra water weight and puffiness
- skin began to clear up naturally
What Does Birth Control Do
FIRST, HORMONAL BIRTH CONTROL WILL NOT FIX YOUR HORMONAL IMBALANCE. Just had to get that off my chest!
Depending on the type, birth control either
- blocks the signaling between your brain and ovaries
- turns off follicle stimulating hormone
- releases copper to prevent pregnancy
- thickens cervical mucus to prevent transport and sticking of sperm/eggs
Well dive into the specifics below.
Read Also: Can Bioidentical Hormones Cause Weight Gain
What Types Of Contraception Are Available
There are many different types of contraception available:
A male condom is a thin rubber or plastic covering worn on the penis during sex. A female condom is inserted into the vagina before sex. A condom stops body fluids mixing during sexual activity. This reduces the chance of pregnancy, as well as the likelihood of catching a sexually transmitted infection . Condoms are the only contraceptive method that also help prevent STIs. Read more about the pros and cons of condoms
The combined oral contraceptive pill, also known as the pill or OCP, is a tablet taken daily by women to prevent pregnancy. The pill contains a combination of hormones that stops the ovaries from releasing an egg each month. They also alter the mucus at the entrance of the uterus, making it harder for sperm to get through. Read more about the pros and cons of the combined oral contraceptive pill.
The vaginal ring is a flexible plastic ring inserted high into the vagina. It contains the same hormones as the pill and works in the same way. It stays in place for 3 weeks, so some women find it easier to use than the daily pill. Read more about the pros and cons of the vaginal ring.
The progestogen-only pill, or mini-pill, is another tablet that women take daily to prevent pregnancy. It contains the hormone progestogen, which changes the mucus at the entrance of the uterus to make it harder for sperm to get through. Read more about the pros and cons of the progestogen-only pill.
Emerging Birth Control Options
Birth control is an ever-evolving area of study, and researchers are always testing new methods. Some of the newest contraceptives in the works are a redesigned female condom and hormonal male birth control.
Theres definitely options being looked at for male contraception, Dr. Plastino said. The problem is, to decrease sperm, you have to decrease testosterone. When you decrease testosterone, you also decrease male characteristics.
If you are thinking about starting birth control, talk with your healthcare provider about which option is best for you. Some methods are more effective at reducing your risk of pregnancy than others, and none are 100% effective. Keep in mind that only condoms reduce your risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection like HIV. All of the other methods have no reduction in STIs.
You May Like: What Happens When Estrogen Levels Are Low
Alternative Contraception Methods That Address Birth Control Risks
One alternative to the above hormonal methods of birth control is a non-hormonal, copper IUD. This type of IUD relies on copper instead of hormones to prevent pregnancy. The birth control risks associated with this type of IUD include severe premenstrual cramps, heavy bleeding, and spotting between periods. You may also be more likely to expel this type of IUD if you have never been pregnant or suffer from heavy menstrual cramps.
There are also several more natural alternatives to consider.
Natural Ways To Prevent Or Delay Pregnancy
Hopefully Ive made a case for why taking artificial hormones arent the best option for delaying pregnancy, but if just balancing hormones isnt the reason for taking hormonal contraceptives and there is the need to delay or prevent pregnancy, there are other options .
Ill address the methods I have tried so that I can speak from experience:
Natural Family Planning or Fertility Awareness Methods are natural ways of preventing or achieving pregnancy based on the bodys natural hormonal cues. These methods carry no side effects and actually help women get to know their bodies better. I know of several cases of women who discovered problems from practicing these methods since they were in touch with their hormonal cues.
While these methods get a bad rap, they have come a really long way from the Rhythm Methods of the past and many are now as effective as hormonal methods when used consistently. These methods can be used to delay or achieve pregnancy, so those who decide to conceive dont have to worry about the risk of infertility, birth defects or delayed fertility after coming off of contraceptives.
The basic concept is using cues like Basal Body Temperature , mucus production, cervical position and other symptoms to effectively predict ovulation and avoid intercourse during this time. You can also use an ovulation calculator like this one to find the fertile window in your cycle.
Read Also: How To Stop Hormonal Hair Growth
More Birth Control Methods
In this post weve outlined some of the non-hormonal birth control methods available to you. If youre interested in browsing the wider contraceptive landscape, check out our post on birth control options, where you can also see the history and effectiveness of a mix of different methods, including those containing hormones.
At Natural Cycles we believe in more contraceptive choice for all. This is because we are all different and require different methods to reflect our diversity. Our birth control app is just one of the non-hormonal birth control options available.
Contraceptive Methods: Key Considerations
Three main considerations commonly arise in discussions of contraceptive methods: method safety and contraindications, failure rates, and return to fertility.
An important source for data about method safety comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention : the U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use ,8 which categorizes the safety of contraceptive methods in accordance with the specific health concerns of patients . In this article well highlight the common contraindications and drug interactions categorized as U.S. MEC 4: A condition that represents an unacceptable health risk if the contraceptive method is used.8 We recommend that readers familiarize themselves with the U.S. MEC, which includes a comprehensive list of such conditions its available free online and as an app.
You May Like: Where Can You Get Estrogen
What Is The Most Popular Type Of Birth Control
The birth control pill remains the most popular form of non-surgical birth control in the US. The IUD lost favor in the 1980s because of fake news about their safety. The use of the IUD is now on the rise. For many decades, the IUD has remained the most common choice for birth control in China . Europeans have always opted for IUD use over the birth control pill.
Graphic extracted here.
Why Choose Nonhormonal Birth Control
Hormonal contraceptives, like the birth control pill and hormonal implants, change a womanâs hormone levels to keep her body from getting pregnant. They can be convenient and reliable. But they might not be ideal choices for some people for reasons like:
- You have to remember to take the pill at the same time every day.
- You need to see a doctor for prescriptions or to insert the device.
- They donât protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.
- They may raise your chances for blood clots or breast cancer, or have side effects like mood swings or weight gain.
- You may not have sex often enough to need ongoing birth control.
- You may pass hormones to your baby if youâre breastfeeding.
You May Like: Hormone Pellets And Breast Cancer
Natural Alternatives To Hormonal Birth Control
I mentioned in another video that hormonal birth control is unhealthy in the long term and may result in acne after you go off it.
So when you are in a relationship and in need of a method of birth control, what are the best, natural options available to women? Watch the video and find out!
What do you use for birth control?
Blog author Tracy Raftl used to have severe acne now she teaches thousands of women how to take back control of their skin through natural, holistic, and mind-body methods.