Hormonal contraception might not be for you. Here are some alternatives.
When it comes to contraception, we really are spoiled for choice. If you’re wary of hormonal forms of contraception (like the pill, the implant, or the injection) you’ve got plenty of non-hormonal options to choose from. Check them out for yourself:
1. The (go-to) male condom
Yes, we do bang on about condoms so we’ll (try to) keep it brief. On top of offering protection from pregnancy, using condoms rarely results in any side effects. Plus male condoms can be combined with contraceptives that don’t offer STI protection like spermicide, the coil, the diaphragm, the pill, or implant. Note though that you should NOT attempt a condom-female condom combo.
2. The (oft forgotten) female condom
Female condoms just aren’t that popular. But female condoms provide protection from STIs and pregnancy (effective 95% of the time when used properly, 79% in reality). Apart from the more experiential down-sides (rustle, rustle), these are actually pretty handy. (Image credit: Dave Patten)
3. The (slightly intimidating) copper T-shaped intrauterine device
The prospect of having a copper intrauterine device ( “the coil”) anchored into your uterus, quite reasonably, intimidates the best of us. The benefits of using this little plastic and copper device are actually pretty compelling. The coil stays in place for 5 – 10 years, so you’ll barely need to think about it. Plus, the rate of failure is really low (less than 1%). Though the coil doesn’t offer any protection from STIs, it can be used with a condom. (Image credit: +mara)
4. The (rather retro) diaphragm
Diaphragms haven’t had much press since Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw championed them but they’re very much still on offer and worth considering. The latex or silicon dome you insert into your vagina before sex shields your cervix, blocking sperm’s route to the uterus. The method carries no side effects. (Image credit: Ryan Somma)
5. Spermicide (the useful addition)
Spermicide has a 28% failure rate so we wouldn’t recommend relying on it alone—plus it offers no STI protection. But don’t toss it aside completely! Combine some spermicide with a male condom or diaphragm to up your protection from unwanted pregnancy. (Image credit: Becca)
What’s your contraception of choice? Tell us below…