IS THERE ANY BIRTH CONTROL WITHOUT HORMONES??
There are SO many options for you if you want birth control without hormones!
The thought of changing your body’s natural hormones can be scary, but remember that pregnancy changes them a lot more than any birth control does!
You also won’t know how your body will react. Just because it didn’t work well for someone you know, doesn’t mean the same thing will happen to you. Every birth control is a little different as well, so for example if one type of pill didn’t work well for you, doesn’t mean another type will have the same issue.
Also if you tried something in the past and had a bad reaction, doesn’t mean it will definitely affect you the same way again. Your body changes with age, so it may be worth trying something again if it’s been several years since you last tried it.
If you are absolutely against having any hormones in your birth control, here are your options:
Copper IUD – click to learn more about it and how it is put in by your doctor. Anyone can get it, even if you are young and/or never had children before! Once it’s put in, you don’t have to think about it, and you are protected from pregnancy (>99% effective) for up to 12 years!
Because there are no hormones at all, you will still have periods. For some women, they have found their periods are heavier or more painful with this IUD, but others are not affected by all. It’s worth trying! If you don’t like it, you can have it taken out at ANY time. It does not affect your fertility at all.
Condoms – and other “Barrier” methods. There are so many types! – the female condom, cervical cap, sponge, diaphragm These work by preventing or decreasing direct skin or fluid contact.
These are the only birth control methods that protect against sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV, and HPV! Until you have had a discussion with your partner and agree to be in a committed, monogamous relationship and both have gotten tested, I recommend using a barrier method every time you have sex. This includes oral sex, anal sex, and other activities. HPV can be transmitted by skin to skin contact. Unfortunately our current technology hasn’t figured out how to test for HPV in men yet, so the best thing you can do is protect yourself with the HPV vaccine!
These methods all are user-dependent, meaning their effectiveness depends on how correctly they are used. More experience using them does help. Sex Ed classes usually only teach about using the traditional “male” condom, using a banana or other object as a model of the penis.
The Male Condom is the easiest one to use correctly, since it covers almost the entire penis in a snug fit. There are many types, shapes, sizes, with different materials such as latex, polyurethane, lambskin, polyisoprene, etc. Some are lubricated, textured, or even flavored. Make sure to use the right size condom!! If it’s too big or too small, it’s at risk of slipping off or breaking. “Double-bagging it” with 2 condoms at the same time sounds good in theory, but actually has worse effectiveness.
All the other “Barrier” methods must be placed inside, touching the cervix, so they are a bit harder to use and some are less effective, but practice helps. There is always a risk of any barrier method moving, breaking, falling off, or leaking.
The Female Condom is a pouch made of polyurethane and has two flexible rings. The inner one should be placed deep inside, touching your cervix, like a tampon. The outer ring should hang about 1 inch out from your body.
For both male and female condoms, make sure that if you’re using lubricant, spermicide, or anything else during sex, that they are compatible with the condom’s material!! Latex condoms are quite strong, but other types of condoms can be broken by certain substances. Read labels carefully and as always, ask your doctor if you’re not sure.
Dental Dams are NOT re-useable and should NOT be flipped over while using. You can use them with lubricants, but not with spermicides or oil-based products.
The cervical Sponge is soft and round, about 2 inches in diameter. It’s made of solid polyurethane foam and contains spermicide, which takes time to work, so you’ll need to leave it inside for at least 6 hours after sex before taking it out. The sponge also must first be moistened with water before being put in. It can be bought over the counter. It does NOT protect against STIs!
The cervical Cap and Diaphragm are re-usable, but unfortunately need a prescription, because they need to be measured and fitted to your exact size by your doctor. They MUST be used with Spermicide (see below), and must be placed at least 6 hours before sex and left in 6 hours after sex. But they can’t be left in for more than 24 hours at a time, because you need to add a new dose of Spermicide. They do NOT protect against STIs!
The typical effectiveness of each type of barrier method is different. The male condom is 82%, female condom is 79%, sponge is 88% for women who have never had children before and 76% for those who have, and diaphragm is 88%.
Spermicide – a gel/foam/cream with a chemical (usually nonoxynol-9) that kills or stops sperm from moving. Can be used in combination with condoms or other barrier methods, but make sure they are compatible!! Spermicides can break down some materials. Latex condoms are usually the strongest, but if you’re not sure, check the labels or ask your doctor. The typical effectiveness of spermicide is 72%. It does NOT protect against STIs.
Withdrawal – or “Coitus Interruptus.” Just as it sounds, the man tries to “pull out” before he reaches orgasm and ejaculates. This can be very hard to do, and is not reliable. Also, even if the ejaculated semen does not land inside the woman’s body, there is still sperm in the pre-ejaculate fluid (“pre-cum”) and it’s possible to get pregnant just from that. This method is only 78% effective.
Timing – also known as “Fertility Awareness” or “Calendar Rhythm” method. The woman tries to track her menstrual cycle and predict when she is not ovulating/when it is “safe” to have intercourse. Alternatively, women can also use this to try to predict when they ARE ovulating if they WANT to get pregnant.
There are many ways to do so, such as measuring your body temperature, counting the days, and even checking your cervical mucus/fluid. Every cycle is different, however, and is affected by stress, diet, and many other factors. Even if you have regular periods, the exact time you ovulate can change every cycle. The typical effectiveness is only 76%.
Breastfeeding/Lactational Amenorrhea Method – in case you didn’t know, while you are pregnant, you do not ovulate or have periods. Your menstrual cycle is on pause. This is because your body recognizes that its goal of ovulating was already accomplished – the egg it released was fertilized and used to create a new life!
After you deliver a baby, it can take many months for your menstrual cycle to un-pause and for your periods to come back. Your periods tend to come back even later if you’re breastfeeding, due to hormonal changes.
Thus, by preventing ovulation, breastfeeding can be a natural form of birth control! However, there are many stipulations.
First, you must breastfeed OFTEN and LONG enough for it to work, meaning at least every 4 hours, even waking up at night to do so.
Second, you also must give your child ONLY breastmilk, no formula or other food.
Third, you MUST breastfeed the traditional way; pumping with a breastpump does not count!! You need to keep your baby near and feed at night because you produce more milk the more you breastfeed and the closer your baby is to you (the body works in mysterious ways!). It’s recommended to breastfeed your child to comfort him/her and not use pacifiers or bottles.
When all this is done “perfectly,” this method can be 98% effective, but it’s only recommended until your baby is 6 months old, even if your period doesn’t come back (on average they’ve found that it takes 14 months for your period to fully come back after giving birth, and it returns in stages). After 6 months, the effectiveness decreases.
Many women think they can just keep an eye on their periods and as long as they haven’t bled, they can’t get pregnant. This is NOT reliable at all!! If you do end up pregnant again so soon after just having been pregnant, this is very bad for your health. Doctors recommend at least 18 months in between pregnancies for your body to fully recover and be ready for the next pregnancy!
Those are all your Natural/ No Hormone/ Hormone-Free birth control options! Feel free to message me with questions or concerns!