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.
Male And Female Condom
Brand Name: Trojan, Durex®, LifeStyles®, FC2 Female Condom, and more.
Effectiveness: Moderate. With perfect use, 2 out of 100 people using male condoms will become pregnant. With typical use, 18 in 100 people using male condoms will become pregnant.
What is it?
Male condoms are worn on the penis during intercourse. Most condoms are latex, but polyurethane condoms are available for people with latex allergies.
Female condoms are a tube-shaped barrier method worn by the receptive partner during vaginal or anal intercourse. As opposed to male condoms, they are usually made of polyurethane or nitrile, so they are good for people with latex allergies. The closed end of the female condom rests inside the vagina or anus while the open end sits on the outside of the body. Flexible rings on either end of the female condom help guide insertion. Note: only one condom should be used during a sexual act.
Latex condoms should only be used with water-based lubricant such as K-Y® Jelly. Oil-based lubricant, such as Vaseline, will break down the latex and make the condom less effective. Since female condoms are made with polyurethane, they can be used with both water- and oil-based lubricants.
How does it work?
Condoms act as barriers, collecting semen during ejaculation and preventing sperm from entering the uterus. Condoms also protect against many sexually transmitted infections. Effectiveness is increased if condoms are used with spermicide or in conjunction with withdrawal.
How Do I Get Phexxi
You need a prescription to get Phexxi. You can get a prescription from a doctor or nurse at a doctors office, health clinic, or your local Planned Parenthood health center. In a few states, you can even get a prescription directly from a pharmacist. You may also be able to get a prescription through the Phexxi website.
You may be able to get Phexxi for low-cost or free if you have health insurance. To find out more about using health insurance to pay for Phexxi, talk with your nurse or doctor, or call your insurance provider . Phexxi also has a cost saving program that may be able to help you save money if you have private insurance .
If you dont have health insurance, you still have options. Your local Planned Parenthood health center may be able to help you get Phexxi for free or low-cost. You can also check out the Phexxi website for more information about the cost of Phexxi.
Some Medications Affect Hormonal Methods
There are a lot of people who love hormonal birth control methods. They can really do a lot of good things for a person. However, that is not the case for everyone, and that is why it is very important for a woman to make sure that she gets the right type of birth control for herself. One of the negative things that can happen when one chooses a hormonal method of birth control is that it can be affected by certain medications. Some medications might make it less effective, and the woman who is taking it could get pregnant.
Other Barrier Methods: Cervical Cap And Sponge
So far, in this article, we’ve talked about 2 barrier methods: the diaphragm and the condom. But there are two additional barrier methods that some women use:
The cervical cap with spermicide. About 17-23 out of 100 women who use the cervical cap may get pregnant.
The contraceptive sponge with spermicide. About 12 out of 100 women who use the contraceptive sponge may get pregnant. About 24 out of 100 women who’ve given birth may get pregnant using the sponge.
The cervical cap is a soft rubber or silicone cup made to fit over the cervix . You’d use spermicide on the outer rim of the cap and inside the cap itself. To get it, you’d have to see your health care provider so they can figure out the right size for you. Then they can prescribe it.
The contraceptive sponge goes into the vagina to cover the cervix and block sperm from coming in. It’s also used with spermicide. The nice thing about it is you don’t need a prescription for it.
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Non Hormonal Birth Control
People use non-hormonal birth control methods when they dont want to get pregnant and continue having a healthy sex life. Non-hormonal birth control methods do not have any potential risks or side-effects.
It is best to consider using non-hormonal birth control options if:
How Effective Are Internal Condoms At Preventing Pregnancy
The internal condom is typically less effective than the external condom.
With perfect use, 5 out of every 100 women will become pregnant in a year. With typical use, 21 out of 100 will get pregnant .
People may enjoy sex more with an internal condom because they feel…
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Downsides Of Hormonal Birth Control Methods
Hormonal birth control does have some potential downsides. For example, using hormonal birth control can cause side effects in some women. These may include:
- Bleeding between periods
- Increased risk of blood clots and high blood pressure
- Irregular periods
- Spotting between periods
- Weight gain
Another important downside of hormonal birth control methods is that they do not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases such as HPV, herpes, HIV, chlamydia, and syphilis. If you have multiple partners or if you have sex with someone with multiple partners, using hormonal birth control alone may not be safe for you.
Only male and female condoms can protect you from STDs. However, condoms are only about 80% effective at preventing pregnancy. Women who want to optimize for both pregnancy prevention and STD protection may choose a dual protection approach, which means they may use both a hormonal birth control method and a condom.
Find The Best Birth Control For You
Thanks for checking out our list of types of birth control without estrogen! Weve only touched on some of the methods available and how they work, so if youre serious about switching birth control, its always worth discussing your options in full with your doctor. In the meantime, why not find out if Natural Cycles could be an option for you?
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Are There Any Permanent Non
The only permanent form of non-hormonal birth control is sterilisation. This has a number of disadvantages though:
- They can still fail they arent 100% reliable
- They involve surgery there are risks to the procedures for men and women
- If pregnancy does occur, the risk of ectopic pregnancy is increased pregnancy can sometimes occur outside of the womb as a result of these procedures
- They are not easily reversed they can sometimes be reversed but its not a sure thing. If you want biological children in the future this might not be worth the risk
There are some contraceptives that you can keep using without stopping:
- The withdrawal method there is no reason to stop using this, except that it isnt reliable
- The rhythm method you can keep using this as long as your periods stay regular
- Abstinence or different forms of sex these methods can be used consistently but they arent reliable or practical for everyone
There are also non-hormonal contraceptives that last a long time :
- The coil this can last 5-10 years
- The cup this can last up to 1 year
- The diaphragm this can last up to 1 year
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.
A Look At New Hormone
NPR’s Sarah McCammon speaks with Dr. Meera Shah, Chief Medical Officer at Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, about Phexxi, one of the newest non-hormonal contraceptives on the market.
SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:
If you’re someone who’s recently explored your options for contraception, you may have heard about Phexxi, one of the newest products on the market. It’s a prescription gel being advertised as a revolution in birth control. The product, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last year, is hormone-free and can be used on an as-needed basis. For some women with a limited range of non-hormonal options to choose from, a contraceptive like Phexxi is a much awaited and exciting development. But others, including some providers, aren’t convinced the product is as revolutionary as the marketing claims.
We wanted to learn more about this contraceptive and how it compares to others, so we called Dr. Meera Shah. She’s the chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, outside of New York City. Dr. Shah is a board-certified family physician and author of the book, “You’re The Only One I’ve Told: The Stories Behind Abortion.” And we should mention that this conversation includes a discussion of sex and may not be appropriate for all listeners.
Dr. Shah, welcome.
MEERA SHAH: Hi, Sarah. Thanks for having me.
MCCAMMON: Well, let’s start with the basics. How does this new contraceptive, Phexxi, actually work?
SHAH: Yep. No, that’s exactly right.
Number : Phexxi Vaginal Gel
Phexxi is a “first-of-its-kind” non-hormonal vaginal gel approved by the FDA in August of 2020. Long story short, it’s a much-improved version of something a lot older: a spermicide. You would need a doctor’s prescription for Phexxi.
Effectiveness: In the phase 3 trial of Phexxi, it was shown to be 86.3% effective.
How it works: Basically, Phexxi works by temporarily lowering the pH of the vagina, making it an inhospitable environment for sperm. It’s cool because it essentially is capitalizing on one of the vagina’s natural defenses: its acidic pH, which helps to stop incoming sperm in their tracks and make them stop swimming.
Phexxi is a hormone-free method that is woman-controlled
Unlike traditional spermicides like nonoxynol-9, Phexxi should be less harsh and gentler on the vagina
Easy to combine with other methods like the diaphragm and condom for even greater protection
Phexxi may cause side effects for some women, including burning, pain, itching, or overall discomfort in or around the vagina
Phexxi is not available over-the-counter you’d need a doctor’s prescription to get it.
Phexxi can be expensive if you have to pay out of pocket. Drugs.com reports that the cost of 12 applicators without insurance is around $288.
Types Of Birth Control Without Estrogen
Not only are our birth control needs individual, but they also change throughout our fertile lifetimes. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of seven birth control options without the hormone estrogen. Whether you cant or dont want to use estrogen, or are looking to go entirely hormone-free, read on to discover our list of 7 types of birth control without estrogen
Understanding The Different Types Of Birth Control Can Help You Choose The Best One For You
Erika Zar, 45, tried many different kinds of birth control before she settled on her current one. “Most of them seemed to amplify my mood shifts,” she said. The birth control pills that she tried lowered her sex drive and made her depression worse, and the vaginal ring made her so “ragey” that she only lasted seven days with it.
After two emergency surgeries to treat her endometriosis, Zar was prescribed a hormonal intrauterine device to help control the disease and she’s still using one over a decade later. After years of trial and error, she’s happy to have found a form of birth control that meets her unique needs.
With so many birth control options available, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Some women prefer non-hormonal birth control because they worry about side effects from hormonal options, or they have health conditions that make hormones unsafe. Others might like the convenience of hormonal birth control or have health conditions, such as endometriosis or painful cramps, that are improved by it.
Hormonal Methods Can Reduce Some Things
While there are lots of women out there who have chosen to use hormonal birth control, there are also a lot of them who have decided against doing that. After all, that kind can cause some issues for some people.
One person who uses non-hormonal birth control is Jill Duggar. But at the same time, hormonal methods can do a lot for a person. For example, they can reduce acne, which is why some people choose them over non-hormonal types of birth control. They can also reduce ovarian cysts, in addition to a persons risk of having an ectopic pregnancy.
How Does Phexxi Work
Phexxi isnt a spermicide, but you use it in a similar way: you put Phexxi in your vagina before sex, and it helps stop sperm from getting to an egg.
Phexxi prevents pregnancy by lowering the pH in your vagina when sperm is there. This makes it hard for sperm to move, which lowers the chance that sperm and egg can meet.
Who Should Use Phexxi
The FDA discourages women with recurrent UTIs or a history of urinary tract abnormalities from using Phexxi.
According to Culwell, there’s no specific demographic of women that Phexxi’s best suited for. She said it’s a good option for any woman looking for non-hormonal contraception, “either because shes tried hormones in that past and hasnt liked them … or they have side effects shes not happy with.”
Culwell also stressed that Phexxi users must be willing to apply the product before every act of intercourse. For women seeking a “set it and forget it” option, like an IUD, this isn’t the best choice. Phexxi is sold in a box of 12 single-dose applicators, and the price will depend on an individual’s insurance coverage.
According to Pathy, this product is ideal for women in monogamous relationships who don’t want to use hormonal, long-acting or permanent birth control and who understand how to use it correctly.
CORRECTION : An earlier version of this article misstated that adverse reactions to Phexxi occurred in less than 2% of users. Adverse reactions occurred in greater than or equal 2% of users.
How It Is Put In
The copper IUD is put into your uterus by a health care provider after a pelvic exam. The IUD is inserted through the opening in your cervix into the uterus. Short strings will hang inside your vagina that you and your health care provider can feel to make sure the IUD is in place. You may feel cramping while it is being put in. Speak with your health care provider about what to do if you have pain.
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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.
What Are The Benefits Of Phexxi
Like spermicide, Phexxi is non-hormonal birth control. So if you prefer non-hormonal birth control, or cant use methods with hormones because of medical problems, Phexxi may be a good option for you.
Unlike spermicide, Phexxi doesnt have nonoxynol-9 in it. So Phexxi doesnt increase your risk of STDs like spermicide can.
Phexxi is birth control you can use up to an hour before you have sex, so you dont have to stop and think about birth control in the middle of the action. You can also make Phexxi a part of foreplay by having your partner put it in your vagina.
You only need to use Phexxi when you have sex. So you dont need to worry about using birth control or dealing with side effects when youre not having sex.
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