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Difference Between Hormonal And Nonhormonal Birth Control

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Types Of Nonhormonal Birth Control

Nuts & Bolts: Hormonal vs. Non-hormonal Contraception

Your chances of getting pregnant in a given year vary widely depending on the birth control method, from less than 1 in 100 for copper T IUDs to more than 1 in 4 for spermicides.

Barrier methods

  • What is it? A saucer-shaped silicone cup that you put into your to block from entering your womb. You must be fitted for a diaphragm at first by your doctor.
  • How well does it work? If you use the diaphragm correctly and add spermicide, you have a 6% chance of getting pregnant after a yearâs use. But the odds double if you donât always use it or donât use it exactly right, the way a typical person does.
  • Pros and cons. You can carry your diaphragm and put it in just before you have sex. Itâs reusable for 12 months. If you decide you want to start a family, stop using it. A diaphragm wonât protect you from STDs. You have to leave it in for at least 8 hours after sex. You also may be more likely to get vaginal or urinary tract infections. Learn about the best ways to prevent a UTI.

Cervical cap


Copper IUD


Vaginal gel

Male condom

Female condom

Surgical methods


Behavioral methods

Outercourse and the pull-out method

Natural family planning

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Hormonal Vs Nonhormonal Birth Control

Hormonal birth control methods prevent pregnancy through the use of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. These include the birth control pill, implants, injections, patches, and vaginal rings. Some types of IUDs also contain hormones.

Nonhormonal birth control methods help you avoid pregnancy by preventing sperm and egg from meeting or by preventing conception from occurring. These include male and female condoms, one type of IUD, diaphragms, cervical caps, and contraceptive products such as sponges. Surgical procedures also count as nonhormonal forms of birth control.

Benefits Of Hormone Replacement Therapy During Menopause

Hormone replacement therapy treats symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and vaginal discomfort, which can help women achieve a higher quality of life during this time. Hormone replacement therapy can also prevent bone loss and reduce bone fractures in postmenopausal women.

While there are several benefits, hormone replacement therapy is not right for everyone. If you have a history of vaginal bleeding, cancer, stroke, heart attack, blood clots, or liver disease you may not be a candidate for hormone replacement therapy.

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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.

Ovarian And Endometrial Cancer Prevention


As a result of reports that have appeared in the lay press over the past few years, ovarian cancer is a significant fear among perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, even though its actual incidence is very low. Unfortunately, no proven screening test for ovarian cancer exists, and neither CA-125 screening nor periodic pelvic ultrasound examinations have been especially helpful. Recent studies have indicated that the risk of developing ovarian cancer is reduced in women who have used oral contraceptives compared with women who have never used them.8 The largest investigation to date, the Cancer and Steroid Hormone Study , showed a decrease averaging 40 percent in the development of ovarian cancer in women who had taken oral contraceptives.9 A protective effect has been observed with as little as three to six months of oral contraceptive use, with further decreases in risk seen with longer periods of use. For example, use of oral contraceptives for seven years or longer confers about a 60 to 80 percent reduction in the risk of developing ovarian cancer.8

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What Are Some Nonhormonal Birth Control Options

Barrier methods of nonhormonal birth control include both male and female condoms. Each of these options is about 80% effective and convenient as they can be purchased without a prescription at a drugstore. In addition, barrier methods prevent STDs as well as pregnancy.

A copper IUD is also available, which naturally kills sperm after being placed in the uterus. A copper IUD is 99% effective and can remain in place for up to 10 years.

Finally, if you are certain you do not want to conceive in the future, permanent birth control options are available. These include a tubal ligation, commonly known as having your tubes tied.

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.

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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.

How Hormones Work In The Brain And Body

What are my NON-HORMONAL birth control options??

In order to feel happy and healthy, you need to have balanced hormones. Here is some important information to note about the differences between natural and synthetic hormones.

Natural hormones bind to specific receptors and keep your body in balance:

  • Estrogen binds to the estrogen receptor.
  • Progesterone binds to the progesterone receptor.
  • Testosterone binds to the testosterone receptor .
  • There is no cross-reactivity.

Synthetic progesterone acts differently on the body:

  • Progestins do not limit binding with just the progesterone receptor, but many other receptors as well.
  • When a synthetic hormone binds to the wrong receptor, that receptor may convey inaccurate signals, which throws the body off balance.

Because synthetic hormones may bind to the wrong receptors, birth control pills may cause hormone imbalances and detrimental side effects. Not all women experience these problems, but for those that do side effects can be quite miserable.

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A Different Nonhormonal Birth Control Option

Until recently, people seeking hormone-free birth control have found few options available. The most effective and long-lasting nonhormonal option is the copper intrauterine device . Barrier methods sometimes are paired with spermicide to boost pregnancy prevention rates, or spermicides may be used alone . Apps and tests to track fertile days bring a high-tech sheen to the so-called rhythm method, but most ob/gyns do not recommend these as a way to prevent pregnancy.

Not until 2020 did the FDA approve a new nonhormonal birth control, Phexxi, which came on the market last fall. Should you try it if youre looking for a new option?

How Does It Work

  • The contraceptive action of the sponge is primarily provided by the spermicide, which is slowly released over a period of 24 hours.
  • The spermicide absorbs and traps the sperm and destroys the sperm cell membrane.
  • The sponge itself also provides a physical barrier to prevent sperm from entering the cervix.
  • The sponge comes in one size only and is available in pharmacies without a prescription.

Also Check: Where Can I Buy Hormone Pills

Creams Foams And Suppositories

Unintended pregnancy in one year of use: 21% typical use, 16% perfect use .

  • 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 .

Similarities In All Iuds

The IUD: The Best Form of Birth Control is the One No One is Using

An IUD is a convenient method of birth control. There is no intake of pills required, which might be problematic if you forget to take them or are on antibiotics. There is also no need for a condom every time you want to get intimate with a partner.

As mentioned above, there are two types of IUDs. Hormonal and Non-Hormonal. They function differently, but there are quite a few similarities between all of them. Both IUD types are similar in shape. They are T-shaped devices that are inserted into the uterus through the cervix. The procedure to insert the device is also the same.

One appointment with the doctor and the device can be added. Sometimes a woman might need a dilator, but that applies to any type of IUD.

Both IUD types stop sperm movement and prevent pregnancies. The sperm is stopped from meeting the egg, which can then become an embryo. All of them are highly effective birth control methods on their own.

If you remove the IUD, then your fertility can be back to normal, and women can get pregnant. Most can be used and kept in the uterus for a good number of years. There are a few brands that have a life of three years, but most have it from 5-10 years.

For those years, the users can be free from the stress of an unwanted pregnancy. One can remove IUD anytime. Women who are not satisfied with the side effects or may want to have children again can go to the doctor for the removal, even before the expiry date.

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Birth Control Options For Women Who Can’t Use Hormones

Although they are popular, not every woman can use, or wants to use, the pill or other hormonal contraceptive for birth control.

  • Some women cannot use hormones at all because of health reasons, breastfeeding, side effects or a host of other reasons.
  • Some may only need occasional pregnancy protection and prefer not to use a full-time birth control method.
  • Certain women prefer to avoid hormones in general based on personal beliefs.

There are several birth control options that do not contain hormones, that are effective if used correctly, and that are usually affordable, or even free.

Hormonal Or Nonhormonal Iud: Which One Is Right For You

Its no secret that the IUDs popularity is on the rise. In the past decade intrauterine device use has nearly tripled among American women, and there are more than a few good reasons that happened! Its safe, low-maintenance, highly effective and long lasting.

Chances are if you are a woman who has been looking for the ideal birth control solution, youre considering an IUD. Now the only question is, hormonal or non-hormonal? Whats the difference and how do you decide which one is right for you?

Lets start with what they have in common:

Heres where they differ:


This is the most obvious difference. Hormonal IUDs work by releasing a small amount of levonorgestrel locally to the uterus each day preventing pregnancy. Non-hormonal IUDs contain a copper coil filament whose chemical release is contraceptive. This can be an advantage to women who cant use hormonal birth control. According to the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, lack of hormones makes IUDs appropriate for smokers older than age 35, postpartum women who are breastfeeding, and others with contraindications to estrogen or progestin.


Women who opt for the hormonal IUD often have irregular bleeding for the first three to six months after insertion. After that initial adjustment period, most hormonal IUD users have either very light periods or dont menstruate at all. For some women this is ideal, while others may prefer to get a regular period.


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Tldr Whats The Lowdown

  • Non hormonal contraception comes in various forms, contains no synthetic hormones and has a range of clinical effectiveness.
  • The most recent developments in non hormonal contraception and birth control include digital contraception like the Natural Cycles app, and the Ballerine IUB.
  • More often than not, non hormonal contraception requires the user to be responsible for making sure it is being used effectively, whether thats through fertility tracking, or just remembering to use a barrier method!
  • The most effective form of non hormonal contraception is the copper coil

A huge attraction for many people considering non hormonal contraception is the minimal-to-no risk of the side effects that are associated with hormonal contraception. This isnt to say that hormonal contraception is inherently worse than non hormonal methods hormonal methods have non-contraceptive benefits too its simply down to personal preference! Whatever contraceptive you choose, make sure its the right one for you.

All Contraception Is Either Hormonal Or Non

Non-Hormonal Birth Control Options

All contraception options fall into two categories: hormonal and non-hormonal. Understanding the differences between these two options is key to selecting a method. You will be able to make the best choice for your lifestyle and body.

For example, if you want continuous protection or have a particular health condition like fibroids, endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome, hormonal birth control is better because it can improve your health. However, if you prefer to choose when you are protected against pregnancy or do not need the hormones to help your condition and worry about side effects, then non-hormonal birth control is the way to go.

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The Pill Hormone Therapy Safe With Blood Thinners

Finding may lay to rest the notion that hormonal treatments raise odds for recurrent clots, expert says

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 â Women on blood thinners can also take contraceptives that contain estrogen, or hormone replacement therapy, without raising their risk for blood clots or uterine bleeding, a new Italian study finds.

Currently, women diagnosed with blood clots may be advised to stop hormone therapy or use of the contraceptive pill â even if they are already on a blood thinner. The reason: Doctors are often concerned that these drug combinations might raise the patientâs risk for more clots.

However, âthere has been no evidence to support this decision,â said the studyâs senior author, Dr. Ida Martinelli, of the A. Bianchi Bonomi Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center in Milan.

âWe conducted this study to address the fear felt by both the physician and patient when making the decision to stop or continue hormone therapy in this setting,â she explained in a news release from the American Society of Hematology.

In the study, Martinelliâs team compared cases of recurrent blood clots and abnormal uterine bleeding in nearly 1,900 women who were prescribed blood thinners either with or without hormone therapy.

Fertility Awareness Methods/natural Family Planning

Fertility awareness is a form of natural birth control which uses fertility markers to track ovulation daily. By recording indicators like cervical position, cervical fluid, and basal body temperature, you can determine when you are at risk of pregnancy, and only use contraceptives or refrain from intercourse during that time.

Failure rate: 5/100 unplanned pregnancies when used exactly as directed.

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Whats The Difference Between Hormonal And Nonhormonal Birth Control

As research and technology advances, there are more and more birth control options available. These options can be sorted into two basic categories: hormonal and nonhormonal. Here, we explain the basic differences between these two options and how you can choose the best birth control method for you.

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  • Menopausal symptoms can be managed with education, lifestyle changes, support and hormone replacement therapy , also known as menopausal hormone therapy .
  • In the early postmenopausal years, HRT is an effective therapy for menopausal symptoms. In most women with moderate to severe symptoms, the benefits outweigh the small increases in risk.
  • The long-term use of HRT has some benefits, but also has some risks.
  • The current role of HRT is for menopausal symptom relief, at the lowest effective dose and for the shortest duration required for the control of bothersome menopausal symptoms.
  • The decision to use HRT, and for how long it should be used, must be based on individual assessment and needs.

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