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3 Types of Non-Hormonal Birth Control


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Interested to learn about birth control but worried about the potential side effects or other health concerns? One option you may consider is non-hormonal birth control.


Let us learn about the 3 main categories of non-hormonal birth control.


Barrier Methods

Barrier methods of birth control work to prevent unwanted pregnancy by preventing the sperm from reaching the female egg. These are the 5 types of barrier methods that you can choose from:


1. Male Condoms –Thin latex or non-latex sheaths placed over the erect penis

Efficacy rate: 87%²

Benefits:

  • Affordable and easily accessible

  • Protect against Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)


2. Female Condoms – Long plastic pouches worn inside the vagina

Efficacy rate: 79%²

Benefits:

  • Affordable and easily accessible

  • Protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

  • Can be inserted into the female vagina up to 8 hours before sexual intercourse


3. Diaphragm or Cervical Cap – Flexible silicone cups placed over the cervix

Efficacy rate: 83%²

Benefits:

  • Affordable and easily accessible

  • Can be inserted into the female vagina up to 6 hours before sexual intercourse


4. Sponges – Soft, disk-shaped devices containing spermicide and inserted through the vagina

Efficacy rate: 86% (If you have never had a baby) or 73% (If you have had a baby)²

Benefits:

  • Affordable and easily accessible

  • Works for up to 24 hours but must be left in the female vagina for 6 hours after sex


5. Spermicide – Chemicals which kill sperm

Efficacy rate: 81%²

Benefits:

  • Affordable and easily accessible

  • Work better with other barrier methods such as male condom, diaphragm or cervical cap

  • Can be used as lubricant during sex


What are the overall benefits of using barrier birth control methods?

  • Relatively safe to use

  • Will not affect monthly periods of women

  • Many of types of barrier method can be bought without a prescription

  • Do not affect fertility after stopping use


Are there any downsides to using barrier birth control methods?

  • You must remember to wear them before sex

  • Barrier birth control do not work as well as other birth control methods

Probiotics like Pro-Uro™ can help restore the balance of the vaginal flora and prevent vaginal infections.

  • Some people may not like how sex feels with a condom


Surgical Methods

Surgical methods for birth control, also known as sterilization, are procedures which render the man or the woman permanently infertile. Hence, the couple should receive careful counselling to ensure they fully understand and are willing to accept the non-reversible nature of the procedure. Here are the 2 different types of surgical methods.


1. Tubal ligation

Prevents pregnancy by surgically cutting, blocking or sealing the fallopian tubes. Rest assured, you can usually go home on the same day of the surgery and resume your normal activities within a few days.

Efficacy rate: 99.5%

Benefits:

  • Permanent birth control and great for women who do not plan to have children

  • Highly effective birth control method

  • May decrease risk of ovarian cancer if fallopian tubes are removed

Disadvantages:

  • Complications can occur e.g. risk of infection, internal bleeding and damage to nearby organs

  • Does not protect against Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

  • Irreversible procedure so important to carefully consider


2. Vasectomy

Outpatient procedure done under local anaesthetic where the vas deferens are cut or tied so that the sperms are not released during ejaculation.

Efficacy rate: 99.85%

Benefits:

  • Will not affect the man’s sex drive or ability to have an erection

  • Simpler and safer compared to tubal ligation

  • Highly effective birth control method

Disadvantages:

  • Not effective immediately until after sperm count drops to zero, which takes around 3 months

  • Does not protect against Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

  • Irreversible procedure so important to carefully consider


Vasectomy is a simple outpatient procedure and takes about 30 minutes or less to complete.

Natural Methods

Some women or their sexual partners are unable or simply choose not to use other birth control methods due to cultural or religious reasons. These are some natural birth control methods that you can consider using.


1. Fertility-awareness based method

It involves identifying fertile days of the period cycle and avoiding sexual intercourse or using barrier methods on those days.

Efficacy rate: Up to 98% (perfect use) or 77% (typical use)²

Benefits:

  • No cost needed

  • No side effects

  • Involvement of sexual partner

  • Increased understanding on fertility cycle

Disadvantages:

  • High failure rate if used incorrectly

  • Need time to monitor period cycle

  • Does not protect against STDs

  • May not be effective if period cycle is irregular

  • Certain health conditions may obscure signs of fertility


2. Withdrawal Method

Method of pulling out the penis from the vagina before ejaculation to prevent the sperm from entering the vagina.

Efficacy rate: Up to 96% (perfect use) or 73% (typical use)⁴

Benefits:

  • Free and convenient

  • No side effects

Disadvantages:

  • Discipline is needed to pull out

  • May interfere with sexual pleasure

  • Pre-ejaculation fluid may contain sperm

  • Does not protect against STDs


Summary

  • There are multiple types of non-hormonal birth control methods including barrier methods, surgical procedures and natural methods.

  • Women who cannot or choose not to use hormonal birth controls can consider the use of non-hormonal birth control.

  • Each type of non-hormonal birth control can vary in cost, effective duration, and potential side effects. Thus, you should carefully consider or discuss it with your sexual partner.

  • It is important to understand the consequences of permanent contraception to avoid regret. Speak to your medical professional for a better understanding.


This health article is brought to you by Miraco Nutripharm. With clinically proven women’s probiotic Pro-Uro™ as our key product, we believe in sharing about common health topics relevant to women. Look out for final part of this article to learn more about Hormonal Birth Control Methods.


References

  1. UpToDate. Patient education: Barrier methods of birth control (The Basics). In: UpToDate, Post TW (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA, 2021.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Birth Control Methods.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [reviewed 2020 Aug 13; cited 2021 Sep 23]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/contraception/index.htm.

  3. Kaunitz AM. Patient education: Birth control; which method is right for me? (Beyond the Basics). In: UpToDate, Post TW (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA, 2021.

  4. Liddon N, O’Malley Olsen E, Carter M et al. Withdrawal as a pregnancy prevention associated risk factors among US high school students: findings from the 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Study. Contraception. 2016 Feb; 93(2): 126–132.


Disclaimer: The article content is intended for informational or educational purposes only, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals. The disclaimer also provides that no warranties are given in relation to the medical information supplied in the article, and that no liability will accrue to Miraco Nutripharm Pte Ltd or any affiliated authors in the event that a user suffers loss as a result of reliance upon the information.

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