What About Side Effects
- The most common side effect is irritation of the vulva and vaginal area, such as a burning or an itching sensation. Nearly a third of women reported one of these symptoms.
- Less than 1% of women had more serious side effects, such as severe urinary tract infection.
- Nearly 10% of male partners reported some itching, burning, or pain as well after their partner used Phexxi.
Phexxi cannot prevent sexually transmitted infections , so women should continue to use condoms to prevent STIs.
Being Informed May Help A Woman Choose The Right Birth Control For Her
Nearly half of all pregnancies every year in the United States are not planned, yet around one-third of women who could become pregnant don’t use contraception. Why might a woman who doesn’t want to become pregnant not use birth control? Reasons vary but may include lack of access or knowledge, infrequent sex or concerns about how their health will be affected.
When it comes to helping women decide to use birth control, information often plays an important role. One large study found that teenage girls who had thorough sex education before becoming sexually active were more likely to use some type of birth control when they had sex.
Understanding the differences between hormonal and non-hormonal birth control can help you make the best choice for your body and your lifestyle.
Benefits Of Nonhormonal Birth Control
Whether youre on the pill, have a patch, or use a ring, hormonal birth control can be a total drag. It can cause annoying-AF side effects like bleeding between periods, boob pain, headaches, mood changes, and nausea.
Theres also a small chance that it could increase your risk of heart attacks, blood clots, or strokes.
You may want to opt for a nonhormonal method if you:
- have trouble remembering to take a pill every day
- dont want to change your bodys natural cycle
- experience bad side effects from hormonal birth control
- have certain health conditions like severe hypertension, heart disease, vascular disease, certain liver diseases, or migraine with aura
- Effectiveness: 99%
A copper IUD is a T-shaped piece of plastic thats wrapped in copper. A doctor inserts the device into your uterus through your cervix. Its more than 99 percent effective and gets to work right away. The copper is toxic to sperm, so it helps prevent fertilization. It can also prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall.
A copper IUD is a great choice if you want long-term protection it can last up to 10 years! It can also be used as emergency contraception for up to 5 days after you have sex without a condom or other barrier.
One downside is that insertion can be uncomfortable. Discomfort can range from a slight sting to WHY IS THERE A WASP IN MY VAGINA? But the entire procedure usually takes just 5 to 15 minutes.
- Effectiveness: 8598%
- Effectiveness: 7286%
- Effectiveness: 7688%
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Estrogen Dominance
Birth Control Pills Without Estrogen
Currently, there are no hormone free birth control pills. Scientists are working on developing these for both men and women, but none of them are now approved for use. However, for those who prefer to avoid estrogen, there are birth control pills that use only progesterone and not estrogen. This is known as the mini pill. Progesterone acts to thicken the cervical mucus so that sperm cant enter. It also thins the lining of the uterus, so that it cant support a pregnancy. In addition, progesterone partially suppresses the release of eggs from the ovaries.
The mini pill needs to be taken every day at approximately the same time in order to be effective. This can be difficult for many women to achieve. The mini pill is also less effective at preventing pregnancy than the combination birth control pill .
Establish Your Menstrual Cycle
Reestablishing your menstrual cycle after taking hormonal birth control is critical to balancing your hormones. This is also true if youve always struggled with an irregular menstrual cycle. Establishing a consistent menstrual cycle is a sign that your bodys hormones are doing what theyre supposed to an irregular, missing, or overly heavy menstrual cycle is a sign your hormones are out of whack.
This step should only come after the first two steps have been thoroughly implemented. A few other ways you can help establish your menstrual cycle are by avoiding hormone-disrupting chemicals in your personal care products, reducing your stress levels, and monitoring your sleep and exercise.
Don’t Miss: Can Low Estrogen Cause Migraines
It Requires Consistent Use
Unlike hormonal birth control methods such as implants and injections, nonhormonal options require some planning since they must be used each time you have sex.
Whenever you skip your chosen method, theres a chance you might get pregnant.
No question is too small to ask your doctor, whos a valuable resource in your decision-making process. Possible queries include:
- Is hormonal birth control safe with my medical history?
- How often will I need to refill my prescription?
- Is there any type of medication that can make birth control less effective?
- How can I manage side effects?
- Can I change from one hormonal option to another?
If you write down your questions as you think of them, its easier to remember them during your appointment.
Should I Use A Fertility Awareness
Life stages or events that cause your periods to be unpredictable can make FABMs less effective in preventing pregnancy . You may want to consider other types of birth control, if any of the following applies to you :
You recently started having periods
You are close to menopause
You have just ended hormonal birth control
You have recently birthed
Your periods are unpredictable
Have a high risk of getting an STI
You are not able to avoid sex or use a barrier method during days with high risk of becoming pregnant
Your partner is not willing to participate in the FABM
If becoming pregnant would be dangerous to your health or be very damaging to your life, a more reliable form of birth control may be a better option.
Don’t Miss: What Does Melatonin Do To Your Body
Birth Control Sponge Effectiveness
Of 100 women who have never had a baby and who use the sponge in a typical year, about 14 will get pregnant. This means it is 86% effective.
By comparison, male condoms are 87% effective, and birth control pills are 93% effective.
Does the sponge protect against sexually transmitted diseases?
No. The male condom is the best way to protect against STDs such as HIV.
Estrogen Dominance And Birth Control Pills
Natural hormone balance is the foundation of a womans emotional and physical health. During a womans natural menstrual cycle her estrogen levels rise and fall at different times of the month. The pill disrupts this cycle altogether keeping estrogen levels high all month.
Continuously elevated levels of estrogen can overload the liver, which cant perform its essential function of detoxification. As a result, these unhealthy estrogen metabolites go back into your bloodstream and get circulated in your body quickly leading to Estrogen Dominance
ED from the pill also leads to too much estradiol , also known as an aggressive estrogen, compared to estriol , which is the protective estrogen. This imbalance can be behind tender breasts, mood swings, hair loss, weight gain, fibroids, endometriosis, breast, and ovarian cysts, and even breast and ovarian cancer.
High estrogen levels can also cause a rise thyroid binding globulin, which binds up thyroid hormones making less available to do its work in your body. ED has also been linked to the development of thyroid nodules and cancer.
To learn more about estrogen dominance and what you can do to reduce it, read my other blog post on the topic.
You May Like: Dermatologist Recommended Skin Care Routine For Hormonal Acne
Benefits Of Hormonal Birth Control Methods
Hormonal birth control methods can be very effective. For example, implantable hormonal birth control is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancies, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Womens Health.
Hormonal birth control can also be simpler to use than nonhormonal methods. Having an implant that lasts for several years or taking a pill every day, for example, is easier than remembering to put your diaphragm in before sex or making sure to always carry condoms in your purse.
Whats more, hormonal birth control may provide relief for certain menstrual symptoms. Some women who experience heavy periods or severe PMS find that hormonal birth control can lead to lighter, shorter, less painful periods.
What Should I Do If I Miss A Pill
Take the missed pill as soon as you remember. Then take your usual daily dose as planned. You should also use a backup form of birth control until you have your period. Call your healthcare provider if you miss several days of the pill. Your provider can discuss pregnancy test and emergency contraception options. It is helpful to keep the package inserts of the available, most will give specific instructions on what to do if there is a missed pill.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Start Hormone Therapy
When To See A Doctor
If you continue to have bleeding between your periods after the first few months, you should see your doctor. Also, if your periods seem more severe or unusual in any way, contact your doctor.
If you experience any of these more severe side effects, contact your doctor right away:
- You have leg pain or your leg feels hot to the touch.
- You have swelling in your leg.
- You have chest pain.
- You have unexplained fever or chills.
Hormonal Birth Control Provides Continuous Protection And Other Health Benefits
For women who want their birth control to be “on” all the time, there are many hormonal options that provide continuous protection against pregnancy. Birth control pills, patches, shots, and vaginal rings are considered short-acting forms of hormonal birth control, while hormonal IUDs and implants can provide protection for many years. Both short- and long-acting hormonal birth control methods work by releasing hormones that change the body’s chemistry to prevent pregnancy.
According to Verma, many women are drawn to hormonal birth control because it can be used for more than just pregnancy prevention. Some women with heavy or irregular periods including those with conditions like fibroids, endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome use hormonal birth control to regulate their cycles or reduce ovarian cysts, while others like the option of not having a period at all. Verma adds that women dealing with hormone-related health issues like acne or mood swings may also turn to hormonal birth control for help.
But hormonal birth control isn’t without drawbacks. “There are safety concerns, particularly with birth control methods containing estrogen,” Verma said. For people with certain health conditions like migraine disease, high blood pressure, breast cancer or a history of blood clots, Verma said, hormonal birth control containing estrogen may not be safe.
Don’t Miss: How To Control Hormonal Chin Acne
How Effective Is Phexxi Compared To Other Contraceptives
According to data cited by the FDA, Phexxi is about 86% percent effective with typical use. . Planned Parenthood says this means about 14 in 100 women who use Phexxi will become pregnant.
That’s much less effective than the implant, an IUD, or male or female sterilization, which has about a 99% effectiveness. Even with typical use, the patch, the ring, the shot, and the Pillwhich range from 91% to 94% effectiveare all also more effective than Phexxi.
Instead, the vaginal gel is more on par with other non-hormonal methods like male and female condoms, diaphragms, spermicides, and the sponge, for preventing pregnancy. Worth noting: The CDC calls these methods “less effective” than their counterparts.
Planned Parenthood also says you can use Phexxi with plastic or latex condoms for extra protection against pregnancy as well as STDs. Phexxi can also be used with a diaphragm as well as some forms of hormonal contraceptives, like the patch, Pill, or shot.
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.
Recommended Reading: Are Melatonin Gummies Safe For 2 Year Old
Whats The Best Birth Control
The best birth control is the one that most effectively prevents pregnancy and fits with your lifestyle. Generally, a male condom plus another form of birth control is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy.
Whatâs âbestâ among birth control methods differs from person to person. Whatâs right for you may not be right for everyone. And your needs may change over time.
HereÃ¢s what to think about when choosing a kind of birth control:
- How fail-proof do you need your protection plan to be?
- How much does the cost matter?
- How important is your privacy?
- Do you have a regular partner whose needs you care about?
Latex: The most common. Only water or silicone-based lubricants can be used with latex condoms .
Plastic : May be useful for those with allergies and can be used with oil-based lubes .
Lambskin: May be useful for those with latex allergies. They do not protect against STIs because of tiny pores that could allow viruses to pass through . You can use any type of lubrication with these condoms .
Eat Healthy Fats Instead Of Carbs
The first step to balancing your hormones is often overlooked but probably one of the most important. It has to do with nourishing your body. Your body needs various types of fats to create hormones. These fats are the building blocks of hormones, lower inflammation, and boost your metabolism.
In fact, healthy fats have the opposite effect of refined carbohydrates. A few examples of foods that contain healthy fats include coconut oil, avocadoes, grass-fed butter, and wild-caught salmon.
You May Like: Best Skincare Products For Hormonal Acne
How Does Birth Control Work
- They prevent the sperm from reaching where the ova is.
- Ensure the ovary does not release an ova.
- Destroy sperm to prevent it from swimming to the ova.
- Thicken the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from swimming through.
- They change the thickness of the walls of the uterus to prevent implantation.
Below are the types of control methods.
How To Use The Birth Control Sponge
You can insert the sponge up to 24 hours before you have sex. To do so:
The sponge must stay in place for at least 6 hours after you have sex. But donât leave it in for more than 30 hours total.
To take it out, gently pull on the strap. It may help to bear down with your vaginal muscles. If theyâre too tight to remove it, wait a few minutes and try again.
Also Check: How Do You Build Your Testosterone Level
More Serious Side Effects
Serious side effects are rare with the non-hormonal barrier method of birth control, like with the condom, diaphragm, or cervical cap although allergies can rarely occur, especially if latex is present. Toxic shock syndrome may rarely occur with the contraceptive sponge.
Serious side effects with the copper IUD may include: pelvic inflammatory disease , uterine perforation, embedment in wall of uterus, life-threatening infection, endometritis , ectopic pregnancy, and IUD expulsion.
Other warnings and side effects may occur with the use of non-hormonal birth control. It is important to review the specific consumer information for your birth control choice. Discuss these serious side effects with your healthcare provider. Tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you take, including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin and herbal supplements.
What Is The Best Nonhormonal Birth Control
Theres no single best birth control nonhormonal or otherwise for everyone.
Finding the best birth control for you involves understanding the risks and benefits each type, as well as figuring out if it fits your lifestyle and personal preferences.
Looking at the effectiveness of each type of nonhormonal birth control can help you narrow down your options.
Heres a breakdown of the effectiveness rates of nonhormonal birth control, according to the , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , and other sources:
- Copper IUD: more than 99 percent
- Diaphragm with spermicide: 88 percent
- Contraceptive gel: 86 percent effective with typical use, per the manufacturer
- Male condom: 82 percent
- Cervical cap with spermicide: 77 percent to 83 percent
- Sponge with spermicide: 76 percent to 88 percent
- Sponge alone: 76 percent to 88 percent
- Fertility-awareness methods : 76 percent
- Spermicide alone: 72 percent
You may be able to increase the effectiveness of some types of nonhormonal birth control by using them exactly as directed by a healthcare professional or using multiple methods at the same time.
Overall, the best nonhormonal birth control is one that not only meets your needs and preferences, but also a method you feel confident about using.
Read Also: What Is The Normal Dose Of Melatonin For Sleep
Recommended Reading: How Do You Raise Your Estrogen Levels