What an expert explains 7 hormone-free contraception options?


What an expert explains about 7 hormone-free contraception options?

Hormone-free contraception is becoming more popular than ever, with applications like Natural Cycles and copper-based Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) becoming more popular than ever. When it comes to choosing a non-hormonal means of preventing pregnancy, many people declare they don't want their weight, sex drive, menstruation, or mood altered, but Dr Elise Dallas, a Babylon GP, believes it's important asking yourself a few questions beforehand.

Dr. Dallas says, "I always tell patients that many hormonal contraceptive adverse effects, including weight gain and mood problems, might be caused by other factors." "Consider whether or not you're certain it's the contraceptive that's causing you problems." Hormonal methods of contraception, she says, are still a viable option for some.

In reality, they can greatly improve the quality of life for women who suffer from acne and painful periods. As a first step, I recommend speaking with your doctor about the concerns that are most important to you when it comes to birth control (for example, the impact on your menstruation). It's quite normal for your contraception needs to alter as you progress through life, she says. So, what are the alternatives?

Which non-hormonal contraceptive methods are the most popular?

1. Male condoms

What are they?

Male condoms are thin latex sheaths that go over the penis during sex and are probably the most well-known type of non-hormonal contraception. They're an excellent alternative if you're dating or hooking up with new individuals because they're the only techniques that protect you from STIs (together with female condoms).

Pros and cons:

Sue Burchill, head of nursing at sexual health charity Brook, adds, "They're incredibly easy to use and you only need to use them when you have sex." "They shield you from sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs) and pregnancy. Additionally, Brook services (for those under the age of 25), some youth clinics, contraception and sexual health clinics, and some GPs offer them for free. Even if you're under the age of 16, you can buy them at any time of day from supermarkets, vending machines in public restrooms, and gas stations. They also come in a variety of shapes, sizes, textures, colours, and flavours, making sex more enjoyable."

Condoms are the only method of contraception that allows a guy to manage his own fertility, although they do have certain drawbacks. Condom latex can cause allergic reactions in some persons. Although unusual, latex-free polyurethane condoms can be used if you or your partner are allergic to latex, Sue continues. They can split or fall off at any time; if this happens or you are concerned, you may require emergency contraception.

2. Female condoms

What is it?

Female condoms, often known as 'femi-doms,' are similar to male condoms, with the exception that they are worn internally, inside the vagina, rather than over the penis.

Pros and cons:

Female condoms, like their male counterparts, protect against STIs and pregnancy and are accessible for free through many of the same services. You can also use them before having sex (up to eight hours before).

Female condoms, on the other hand, might slip or get pushed up into the vaginal canal if not worn properly, necessitating the need for emergency contraception. Sue advises, Make sure your penis slides into the condom, not between the condom and the vagina. Female condoms are also not always available at every contraception and sexual health clinic, and they can be more expensive to purchase than normal condoms.

3. IUDs

What is it?

IUDs, or intrauterine devices, are t-shaped plastic implants containing copper that prevent an egg from implanting in your uterus. Your doctor or nurse will have to fit them.

Pros and cons:

Copper-based IUDs are a long-term option that, once put in place, can prevent pregnancy for up to ten years (depending on what type of IUD you go for). They don't interfere with sex or your fertility, and, most importantly, you don't have to remember to take a pill every day for them to work. "Unlike other types of contraception, the IUD is unaffected by vomiting, diarrhoea, or other medicines," Sue explains, adding that it can even be used as an emergency contraception device.

This isn't to argue that the IUD is without its drawbacks. It doesn't protect against STIs, she says, and your periods may be heavier, more painful, or last longer. There are a few hazards associated with fitting and using the IUD, though they are minimal and unlikely. For example, you could get an infection when it's implanted, it could be pushed out or displaced, and there's a small potential of uterine perforation. If you get pregnant while using one, there's a chance you'll have an ectopic pregnancy.

4. Cervical caps or diaphragms

What is it?

These are dome-shaped devices that resemble diaphragms, however, diaphragms fit into the vagina and over the cervix, whereas caps must be placed directly on the cervix. For best effectiveness, they should be fitted by a professional the first time and used in conjunction with spermicide.

Pros and cons:

"They can be put in before intercourse so they don't disrupt the moment," Sue explains. "If you have sex more than three hours after putting it in, you'll need to add extra spermicide." "They are unaffected by any medications you take orally, and they do not interfere with your menstrual cycle" - nevertheless it is recommended that you do not use the diaphragm/cap during your period, therefore you will need to use another method of contraception at this time.

What about the drawbacks? They don't provide protection against STIs, and they're not as successful in preventing pregnancy as other methods, with the exception of condoms (around 92-96 per cent, compared with 98 per cent for male condoms, for instance). "Some women can acquire the bladder infection cystitis when using diaphragms or caps – check with your doctor or nurse for further advice if you need it," Sue confesses. Latex or the chemical used in spermicide may cause allergic reactions in certain persons."

5. Sponges

What is it?

This alternative does exactly what it says on the tin: it's a spermicide-laced sponge that you insert to assist prevent pregnancy. They're a one-time use option with maximum utilisation of 30 hours.

Pros and cons:

Sponges protect you from pregnancy in two ways: the spermicide slows down sperm and prevents them from reaching the egg, and the sponge itself covers your cervix, preventing them from getting there. They're simple to use, but they do take some preparation: you must wet the sponge to activate the spermicide, then insert it as far as you're comfortable. You must also leave them in your vaginal canal for at least six hours after having intercourse, so remember to factor that into your 30-hour estimate. It shouldn't happen, but if the sponge breaks into pieces as you pull it out, you should immediately see your doctor.

There's no STI protection, and you can't use them if you're on your period or have any type of vaginal bleeding, since this could put you at risk of toxic shock syndrome. They're also not advised for women who have recently experienced physical trauma in the area, given birth or had a miscarriage or abortion. If you're unsure, see a specialist before purchasing (sponges, unlike many other items, aren't given away for free).

6. Natural family planning

What is it?

Natural family planning, also known as Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM), includes apps such as Natural Cycles, which track your fertility indications like cervical secretions and basal body temperature to determine when you can have sex with a lower risk of pregnancy. According to Dr Dallas, FAM can be as successful as 98 per cent with ideal use, but it's more likely to be in the range of 76 to 88 per cent with usual use, depending on the approach you employ. The NHS recommends this as a procedure for women who don't have a problem getting pregnant.

This is Instagram content that has been imported. On their website, you might be able to access the same stuff in a different format, or you might be able to find more information.

Pros and cons:

If you're thinking about establishing a family, it may be used to both plan and avoid conception – and if you're not, it doesn't require the use of hormones or other chemicals, or the use of physical equipment, as many other ways do. The NHS claims that if the procedure is followed correctly, it can be up to 99 per cent effective - but you'll need good training on the signs, and because it's difficult to perfect, mistakes happen, so it's usually around the 75 per cent figure instead.

If you want to have sex throughout your fertile periods, you'll need to consider STI protection and a different kind of contraception. "You must keep daily records," Sue explains, "and some factors, such as illness or stress, might make results difficult to understand." "If you have an irregular cycle or have stopped using hormonal contraception, it may take longer to recognise your fertility indications. It necessitates a great level of dedication on both sides."

7. Tubal occlusion

What is it?

Tubal occlusion, often known as female sterilisation, is a surgical form of contraception that involves blocking your fallopian tubes with clips or rings. It's estimated to be 99 per cent effective and has no influence on hormone levels. If you have it done, you'll still get your period (sorry).

Pros and cons:

If you're convinced that sterilisation is the best option for you, you won't have to worry about getting pregnant (though you'll still need protection from STIs). There should be no influence on your sexual desire, and it rarely has any additional long-term health consequences.

Internal bleeding, infection, or injury to your other organs are all possible risks, as they are with any procedure. The chances of sterilisation failing are about 1 in 200, but it can happen, and if it does, the pregnancy is more likely to be ectopic. Surgeons are more likely to perform sterilisation on women over 30 who have already had children, although you can seek it regardless of your situation. Because of the permanent nature of the decision you're making, you'll almost certainly be referred to counselling before making your final decision.

Previous Post Next Post