What Is Non Hormonal Birth Control
Essentially, non hormonal birth control is just what it sounds like: birth control that doesnt affect your reproductive hormones, which are your bodys chemical messengers. Hormones influence everything from mood to reproduction and sexual function, and with so much riding on them, you can see why some people want to choose a form of contraception that doesnt interfere with all that.
Non hormonal contraceptives enable a person to prevent pregnancy in a variety of different ways, but they all manage to do it without affecting cervical mucus production, thinning out the endometrium, or preventing ovulation , explains Dr. Arumala, adding that these are the typical ways hormonal birth control methods work.
What Are The Different Types Of Birth Control
Women can choose from many different types of birth control methods. These include, in order of most effective to least effective at preventing pregnancy:
- Female and male sterilization Birth control that prevents pregnancy for the rest of your life through surgery or a medical procedure.
- Long-acting reversible contraceptives or “LARC” methods Birth control your doctor inserts one time and you do not have to remember to use birth control every day or month. LARCs last for 3 to 10 years, depending on the method.
- Short-acting hormonal methods Birth control your doctor prescribes that you remember to take every day or month. The shot requires you to get a shot from your doctor every 3 months.
- Barrier methods Birth control you use each time you have sex.
- Natural rhythm methods Not using a type of birth control but instead avoiding sex and/or using birth control only on the days when you are most fertile . An ovulation home test kit or a fertility monitor can help you find your most fertile days.
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.
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Can You Use Iuds For Emergency Contraception
Yes, both copper-containing IUDs and progestin-containing IUDs can be used as a form of emergency contraception when used within 120 hours of having unprotected sex. This is the most effective form of emergency contraception. The benefit of using IUDs for emergency contraception is that youre seeking a method of birth control and youre preventing future unwanted pregnancies.
Progestin-containing IUDs work by causing your cervical mucus to become thicker so sperm cant reach an egg. The hormone also thins the lining of your uterus, so menstrual bleeding becomes lighter. The copper-containing IUD works by stopping the sperm from reaching the egg.
How is it available?
A healthcare provider prescribes and inserts IUDs.
How effective is it?
IUDs can be close to 100% effective at preventing pregnancy when inserted within five days of having unprotected sex.
When Hormones Arent An Option
According to the Nature commentary, about one-third of women globally discontinue hormonal birth control methods within the first year of taking them, often because of side effects.
That was the case for Lenise Sunny Wilson, who attributes severe depression to the birth control pills she had been taking.
It completely changed who I was as a person, said Wilson, 38, of Tucson, Arizona. It messed with my emotions and my mental health so intensely.
Wilson has since stopped taking the pill and, for the most part, she said, has returned to her sunny self.
Some women, including those with certain cancers and heart conditions, cant take hormonal birth control. Erica Twidle, 33, from Gallatin, Tennessee, was diagnosed with a rare heart condition called peripartum cardiomyopathy while pregnant with her daughter, Della. The condition made Twidles heart weak and enlarged, and although she eventually recovered, Twidles doctors told her she shouldnt take hormonal birth control, or get pregnant, ever again. Both would jeopardize her heart.
Twidle, whod had a bad experience with the copper IUD in the past, decided to track her cycle. But nine months after having Della, she was pregnant again. I cried when I found out, she said. I was terrified. I had a child I needed to stay alive for.
Twidle calls herself one of the lucky ones, since her heart stayed strong enough to support pregnancy. But had things taken a turn, Twidle was prepared to get an abortion to stay alive.
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What Are The Disadvantages Of Non
Non-hormonal IUDs can make your periods heavier and cause cramping, especially in the first 3-6 months. And you may have some IUD cramps when you first get your IUD. For many people, these side effects get better once your body gets used to the IUD. So if you can stick it out for a few months, theres a good chance the side effects will ease up. Read more about side effects.
Its normal to have some cramping during your period with a copper IUD. But if your cramps are really bad and over-the-counter medicine doesnt help, talk with your nurse or doctor. Its also a good idea to call your nurse or doctor if youre still having bad IUD cramps after a year, or you have pain or IUD cramps when youre not on your period this can be a sign your IUD has moved, and they may want to check to make sure its still in place.
IUDs are one of the most effective and convenient ways to prevent pregnancy, but they dont protect you from sexually transmitted infections. So use condoms with your IUD every time you have sex to lower the chance of getting or spreading STDs.
The Natural Cycles App
In 2018, Natural Cycles became the first birth control app to be FDA cleared in the US. Like some fertility awareness-based methods, NC° Birth Control uses your body temperature and menstrual cycle data to work out your fertile window. However, unlike traditional FABM and other tracking apps, the app uses an algorithm that learns the pattern of your cycle and does the calculations for you. This method is 100% hormone-free and is popular with users whove previously used hormonal birth control methods but didnt get along with the side effects.
The algorithm works out your daily fertility status and based on your history and temperature for that day gives you either a red or a green day. On green days youre not fertile and can have sex without using protection. On red days theres a risk youre fertile and you need to either use condoms or abstain from penetrative sex.
With typical use, this method is 93% effective, and its 98% effective with perfect use. Natural Cycles, does not require a prescription for you to use it and is available with a monthly or yearly subscription . You can order it online or buy NC° Birth Control in select pharmacies. Were working hard to ensure that NC° Birth Control is covered by insurance. Did you know you can get your Natural Cycles subscription reimbursed with an FSA or HSA account?
Pros: Prescription-free. Non-invasive. No side effects. Less daily work than traditional FABMs.
Cons: Doesnt protect against STIs.
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Things To Think About
The exact time of ovulation can vary from month to month, even in women with regular periods.
The natural family planning method also works best if an expert teaches you how to monitor your temperature and cervical mucus. Reading this article probably wont be enough to teach you how to do this accurately.
This method does not work if you are also taking hormones as the hormones will affect the signs you are looking for.
Common Side Effects With Non
The non-hormonal birth control methods also come with some side effects that you need to be aware of:
- Commonly reported side effects include irritation, allergies, or rashes. These are more common in the barrier method because of the material these barriers are made out of.
- Copper IUDs can have serious side effects, including uterine perforation, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, and the expulsion of the IUD.
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Side Effects Of Hormonal Birth Control Can Include:
- Being over 35 years old
If you dont have any of these conditions, Ross says hormonal birth control is an equally viable option for you, as it is not inherently unhealthy. There are also low-dose and ultra-low-dose forms of hormonal birth control available, which may be another alternative for you.
Note: Hormonal birth control methods do not protect against sexually transmitted infections . Barrier methods like condoms can help prevent STIs, although the only reliable way to prevent them is to abstain from sexual activity.
There Is No Best Birth Control
Verma says that healthcare providers have changed the way they talk to their patients about choosing birth control. “When the long-acting reversible contraceptive methods came out, there was a lot of excitement about them and a lot of pushing of these methods,” she said.
But these days, Verma and her colleagues have largely shifted their approach toward talking to women about all their birth control options , and then helping them decide which one best fits their lifestyle.
What works for some might not work for others, Verma said. “No one can tell you what’s doable for you.”
This resource was created with support from Evofem Biosciences.
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How Do Hormonal And Non
Hormonal methods prevent pregnancy mainly by stopping the ovaries from releasing eggs or by keeping mucus in the cervix thick so that sperm cannot pass through the cervix into the uterus. Thus, hormonal methods prevent the egg from being fertilized.
How do hormone based contraceptives work?
Hormones in birth control pills prevent pregnancy by: Stopping or reducing ovulation . Thickening cervical mucus to keep sperm from entering the uterus. Thinning the lining of the uterus so that a fertilized egg is less likely to attach.
- By Huma Farid, MD, Contributor
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?
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.
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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.
Hormonal Birth Control Methods
Hormonal birth control options are very popular and are often prescribed by ob-gyn doctors more than any other type of birth control method. There are a few different choices that fall into this category, but they all work by using hormones to thin out the uterine lining, thicken cervical mucus, or delay ovulation. These types of birth control are often the most reliable.
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How Does Hormonal Birth Control Work
Hormonal birth control contains a combination of the female hormones estrogen and progestin or can be progestin only. Hormonal birth control methods prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation, increasing the thickness of mucus in the cervix as a barrier to sperm, and/or stopping fertilized eggs from implanting into the uterus. There are a variety of formulations and forms of hormonal birth control, including pills, patches, hormonal intrauterine devices , shots, vaginal rings and coils. Your reason for taking hormonal birth control, lifestyle, health issues and any side effects you experience may determine which method of birth control your healthcare provider recommends for you.
Which Types Of Birth Control Can I Get Without A Prescription
You can buy these types of birth control over the counter at a drugstore or supermarket:
- Emergency contraception pills. Plan B One-Step® and its generic versions are available in drugstores and some supermarkets to anyone, without a prescription. However you should not use EC as your regular birth control because it does not work as well as regular birth control. EC is meant to be used only when your regular birth control does not work for some unexpected reason.
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Does Breastfeeding Prevent Pregnancy
Breastfeeding can be a short-term method of birth control in very specific situations. The risk of pregnancy is less than 2 in 100 if all three of these describe you:1
- You have a baby who is less than 6 months old
- You exclusively breastfeed, meaning that you only feed your baby your breastmilk all of the time
- You have not gotten a period after childbirth
Talk to your doctor about birth control if you do not want to get pregnant while nursing.
Are Birth Control Pills Safe
Yes, hormonal birth control methods, such as the pill, are safe for most women. Today’s birth control pills have lower doses of hormones than in the past. This has lowered the risk of side effects and serious health problems.
Today’s birth control pills can have health benefits for some women, such as a lower risk of some kinds of cancer.5 Also, different brands and types of birth control pills can increase your risk for some health problems and side effects. Side effects can include weight gain, headaches, irregular bleeding, breast tenderness, and mood changes.
Talk to your doctor about whether hormonal birth control is right for you.
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Tubal Ligation & Tubal Occlusion
Female sterilization by tubal ligation is a permanent surgical procedure where the two fallopian tubes, which transport the eggs from the ovaries to the uterus, get disconnected. Tubal ligation is considered permanent, because reversal is costly, difficult, and not guaranteed.
Female sterilization by tubal occlusion is a permanent procedure where a micro-insert is placed into each of the fallopian tubes. The micro-inserts work with your body to form a natural barrier that keeps sperm from reaching the eggs, preventing pregnancy.
Birth Control: Understanding Your Options
Access to birth control is an important issue in womens lives, so when it comes to choosing the type of birth control for you, you need to know that you have plenty of options. Since every womans body and situations are different, there is no one size fits all birth control option. What works well for one woman may not be ideal for the next. This is why there are so many options available. If you arent sure what kind of birth control would fit your life the best, you can always talk to your doctor about your options, and he or she can tell you which one might work best for you. Your ob-gyn will have a great understanding of what types of birth control are available, as well as side effects and other essential tidbits that you might not think about!
Below are a few forms of birth control. Again, not every type of birth control is fitting for every woman, so be sure to talk to your ob-gyn to find out which one is the best for you.
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The Benefits And Possible Side Effects Of Non Hormonal Birth Control
Naturally, there are some benefits in switching. While hormonal contraceptives dont always come with more side effects , some people feel that they reduce their chances of unpleasant side effects by coming off hormonal birth control.
Its important to remember that not everyone who takes hormonal contraception will notice any side effects. The impact birth control can have on an individual is just as unique as the person themselves. But weve all heard stories about incompatible hormonal birth control, so what are some of the most common offending symptoms?
- Irregular periods
When deciding whether to try non hormonal birth control, its important to be aware of disadvantages that could come with it, too. Some methods may require proper planning , and others require discipline . Thats why its super important to find what works for you, which were here to help with!
Diaphragms & Cervical Caps
You can get your hands on a diaphragm or cervical cap at a pharmacy, drugstore, or health center, but youll need a prescription to get one. There are different sizes of diaphragms so a healthcare professional will need to fit you for one and show you how to use it before you can get started. Diaphragms are covered by insurance and are available for free in the UK on the NHS.
Pros: Insert it any time before you have sex . You can use the same one for a year before it needs to be replaced.
Cons: Requires fitting. Requires a prescription. Does not protect against STIs.
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