Your Non-Hormonal Birth Control Masterlist

Updated: Nov 15


Non-hormonal birth control, birth control, birth control masterlist, birth control guide, contraceptive options, condoms, cervical cap, fertility awareness, pros and cons

What is Non-Hormonal Birth Control?

Any method to prevent unplanned pregnancies that do not affect a person’s hormonal cycle.


Typically, the birth control we often hear of - the pill, IUD, NuvaRing, and Patch for instance, use synthetic hormones to change the way a person with ovaries cycle functions. In doing so, preventing pregnancy. These types of hormonal birth control are just part of the equation! There are plenty of non-hormonal options that can support you in pregnancy prevention, and it’s a shame that these options aren’t talked about enough when discussing your many options!


Why Use Non-Hormonal Birth Control?

One of the first decisions made when it comes to which birth control option you should use is deciding if you want a hormonal or non-hormonal option. There are many pros for choosing either! But when talking about non-hormonal specifically, it is a great way to avoid hormonal related side effects - things like mood swings, libido changes, acne, blood clots, etc. Sometimes, people have other medical conditions which make taking synthetic estrogen unsafe for them (always talk to your doctor about your risk). They may opt for progestin only birth control or non-hormonal options! As an added benefit, some non-hormonal options can help you get nice and cozy with your cycle (you’ll see what I mean) and learn more about your body.


Non Hormonal Birth Control Options:

Don’t get us wrong, we still need MORE innovation when it comes to non-hormonal birth control methods, but there are still a number of good options to choose from. Let’s jump into them!


Condoms

Condoms come in two versions: the external condom (otherwise known as the male condom) and the internal condom (otherwise known as the female condom). Both provide a barrier generally made out of latex or polyurethane to prevent sperm from meeting an egg and bodily fluids from mixing to prevent STIs.

Non-hormonal birth control, birth control, birth control masterlist, birth control guide, contraceptive options, condoms, cervical cap, fertility awareness, pros and cons

Condom Advantages

  • Prevents STIs

  • Can dual as a dental dam for vulva oral sex (just cut along one side of the condom to create a square which can be used as a mouth-to-genital barrier, preventing STIs)

  • You only have to use it when you have penis-n-vagina sex

  • Little to no side effects! Unless you have a sensitivity to latex, in which case you should opt for an alternative material like polyurethane condoms

  • You are in control of this option! It does not require a medical procedure, you can start and stop using it on your own which gives more family planning flexibility and it’s just easy to carry around!

  • Contrary to popular belief, using condoms does not “ruin the mood” (gasp!)


Condom Disadvantages

  • They can expire - look at the dates on the package before you use them

  • Only use water-based or silicone lubes with latex condoms. Other lubes like oil-based ones can degrade the latex and cause the condom to break

  • There is a moderately high failure rate when used improperly or inconsistently (12% failure rate).

  • You have to use a new one everytime you have sex and want to prevent pregnancy


Cervical Cap

This little lady is making a comeback! Another barrier option like condoms that prevents sperm from meeting an egg. It works by sitting at the top of the vagina against the cervix and blocks sperm from entering the uterus.


Cervical Cap Advantages

  • It’s eco-friendly! Well, it’s reusable anyway. You just wash the cap after use and keep it safe for the next time (make sure to leave it in place for about 6 hours after sex though!)

  • You only have to use when you have penis-n-vagina sex

  • You can place it in advance so you don’t have to worry about it once things get started

  • You are in control! You can start and stop this option on your own which gives a little more family planning flexibility than options like an IUD or Implant for instance


Cervical Cap Disadvantages

  • It’s not the most effective method of birth control (86% effective for those who haven’t had kids, and only 71% effective for those who have had kids)

  • They should be used with spermicide to be extra effective! Sometimes spermicide can cause vaginal irritation which is subpar

  • They do not protect against STIs. Only condoms do that!

  • You should consult a doctor first to get thorough instructions on how to properly use a cervical cap

  • Don’t wear it for more than two days because it cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)


Non-hormonal birth control, birth control, birth control masterlist, birth control guide, contraceptive options, condoms, cervical cap, fertility awareness, pros and cons

Diaphragm


The diaphragm is very similar to the cervical cap in that it is a little device that covers the cervix to prevent pregnancy. Though, the diaphragm is disc shaped and needs to be fitted by a doctor first, and the cervical cap is kind of like a top hat!




Copper IUD

The copper IUD is the most effective non-hormonal birth control option we have to date! It is a little t-shaped device that a medical professional inserts into the uterus where it then stays for several years (up to 10 years). The copper material is what prevents pregnancy! Copper creates a not-so-fun place for sperm to live and move. The sperm then can’t get to an egg and therefore - no pregnancy!


Copper IUD Advantages

  • Long lasting and super effective! Actually the Copper IUD is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy

  • You can have it inserted by a doctor or nurse and then you don’t have to worry about it after that! Gives you great peace of mind.

  • The copper IUD can be used as an emergency contraceptive! Which is my favourite fun fact. If you had sex and are at risk of an unintended pregnancy, you can have a copper IUD inserted within 5 days. It is the most effective method of emergency contraception, and it doesn’t matter how much you weigh (unlike PlanB).


Copper IUD Disadvantages

  • Does not protect against STIs

  • Side effects such as cramping and bleeding are common

  • Some people report the copper IUD making their period worse, especially within the first 3-6 months of having it


Fertility Awareness Method

This non-hormonal birth control option has been growing in popularity lately, and for good reason! Fertility Awareness Method is the practice of tracking various biological indicators to help you pin-point when you ovulate. This tells you when you are fertile and are at risk of pregnancy. A person with ovaries can only get pregnant for 5-6 days out of their entire cycle. This is very powerful information, because once you know when that window is, you can avoid pregnancy by using extra protection those days (like condoms or the cervical cap) or just not having penis-n-vagina sex.


Non-hormonal birth control, birth control, birth control masterlist, birth control guide, contraceptive options, condoms, cervical cap, fertility awareness, pros and cons

Fertility Awareness Method Advantages

  • You get to know your body and cycle in really cool and powerful ways

  • Cheap or free, depending on if you use any apps or other tools

  • You do this on your own from the comfort of your own home

  • When used perfectly it’s said to be 95-99% effective (with typical use that number drops to only 76% effective)



Fertility Awareness Method Disadvantages

  • It takes a lot of work. There is a big element of habit building to this one. You thought taking a pill everyday was hard, now we have to think about taking temperature, analyzing cervical mucus, cervical positioning, tracking period and other symptoms and at times taking an ovulation test

  • It does not protect against STIs

  • This method needs the cooperation of the person with the penis


Sponge

It’s exactly what it sounds like. The contraceptive sponge is a small, round sponge made of soft plastic that is placed in the vagina up against the cervix to block any sperm from getting inside the uterus. The sponge also contains spermicide which stops sperm from reaching an egg.


Contraceptive Sponge Advantages

  • You only need to use it when you have penis-n-vagina sex

  • You can place it in advance so you don’t have to worry about it once things get started. But make sure to leave it in for about 6 hours after having sex!

  • You are in control! You can start and stop this option on your own which gives a little more family planning flexibility than options like an IUD or Implant for instance

  • It’s available without a prescription


Contraceptive Sponge Disadvantages

  • Spermicide can sometimes cause vaginal irritation

  • It’s not super effective (88-91% effective at preventing pregnancy) and it’s even less effective if you’ve given birth (76-80% effective)

  • It does not protect against STIs

  • Be careful not to leave it in for too long (no longer than 30 hours)

  • It’s unsafe to use on your period



Why Use Hormonal Birth Control

cAs more information surfaces about how hormonal birth control changes our bodies, people are wanting more alternatives. This is not to say that non-hormonal options are superior to hormonal options or vice versa. The tris what works for one person might not work for the other based on medical history, lifestyle, etc. It’s like picking the perfect sneaker! We're all looking for specific features that will give us the most ease on our day-to-day. Plus - we all want to try on a couple of sneakers and do our research before we make our final decision right?


Here at Reya, we believe that you should get to know all your options before making an informed decision. At the end of the day, we believe that information will empower you on your birth control journey! If you have any questions, send us an email at team@reyahealth.ca or text our free helpline at +1 (647) 424-3261.



92 views

Related Posts

See All