If you are scared of hormonal imbalance caused by contraceptives, then you should explore non-hormonal contraceptives. The main advantage of Non-hormonal methods is that they are less likely to carry side effects than hormonal options. They are also suitable if you don’t have frequent sex. Why inject more hormones into your system while you only have sex once a year! For women with breast cancer, diabetic, epileptic or even those breastfeeding then non-hormonal contraceptives should be your better option.
So, how do non-hormonal contraceptive work? It’s simple! They act as a barrier. Meaning that they prevent sperm from entering the uterus. What are some of the non-hormonal available in the market:
- Diaphragm– This is a small, flexible cap made of silicone that a woman inserts into her vagina to cover the cervix. The diaphragm must be used together with spermicide jelly or cream. The cap can be inserted 6 hours before sex and can stay up to 8 hours after sex. It cannot be used during periods and it’s less effective for women who have had vaginal birth. For women who have never given birth, I is 84% effective. It’s advisable to be inserted by a medical practitioner to ensure that the cap is well inserted and it’s of the right size.
- Male Condoms– This is the most common non-hormonal contraceptive. In most countries, the government provide them for free as it also prevent the spread of STDs. Male condoms are made up thin latex or plastic and are worn on the penis during intercourse. They are 98% effective. The only disadvantage is that they can make sex feel less “sweet” and some people are allergic to the condoms.
- Female condoms– These are not as popular as the male condoms. They are plastic pouch that is inserted into the vagina right. It has flexible rings at the ends one at the closed end keeps it in place while the ring at the open end stays outside of the vagina during sex. They are 780% effective and also prevent STDs.
- Copper IUD– Commonly referred to as Coil. Its T-Shaped shaped device placed by a doctor into the uterus. It can be inserted immediately after vaginal delivery. There are two types. Hormonal and non-hormonal and hence it’s good to clarify the type before use. Copper IUD contains paragard which is a hormone free element that releases small amount of copper that interferes with sperm and prevents eggs from being fertilized. It can be left in for up to 10 years or removed sooner if you decide to get pregnant. Paragard doesn’t prevent the spread of STDs. Some of the effects of IUD Coil include: cramping, heavy periods and spotting between periods.
- Tubal Ligation (Sterilization)-This entails a surgical procedure that a woman undergoes to have her fallopian tubes closed or blocked. Sometimes, the fallopian tubes are removed completely. Fallopian tube is where fertilization take place in a woman’s body. Therefore, blocking them means that chances of getting pregnant hence 99.5% effective. The only problem with this method is that it’s permanent and hard to reverse. It is therefore advised to do it when you have some children.
- Safe days- This is a method where a woman has to track their ovulation cycle to determine the safe days that she cannot conceive after intercourse. One need to track the cycle after 6 consecutive periods. The first day of your period is Day 1. If your cycle is of 28 days, ovulation takes place on the 14th Therefore, it’s good to avoid having sex 4 days before and 4 days after the 14th day. Meaning with this method, you have to abstain from sex for almost 10 days or use alternative birth control methods during fertile days. There are numerous APPs that one can use to guide this process since period cycles are different.
- Withdrawal- The withdrawal method is the oldest form of birth control, but it is not the most effective. Withdrawal basically involves the man pulling his penis out of the vagina before ejaculation. I personally don’t trust this method but it works for some people. The failure rate 19% according to American pregnancy association.
There you have it. Which of these methods do you prefer and what is your experience like? Please share in the comments section below.
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