5 Alternatives to the Contraceptive Pill 5 alternatives to the contraceptive pill

Recently I wrote an article for MindBodyGreen, a well-being website based in the USA. The article listed my very personal reasons for why I will never take another contraceptive pill again. It drew a phenomenal response being shared thousands of times via social media and resulting in hundreds of comments (some positive, some negative!).

Many women asked, what are the alternatives to taking the pill? So here are 5 alternatives to the contraceptive pill, which I will hope you find helpful.

1)    Condoms

Pros:

  • They prevent pregnancy when used correctly (98% effective)
  • They can prevent sexually transmitted diseases when used correctly.
  • They’re fairly inexpensive and easy to buy and use.
  • If the woman has a latex sensitivity, polyurethane condoms are a great alternative.
  • They don’t affect your menstrual cycle, mood or weight.
  • They can help a guy last longer in bed.
  • They collect the man’s semen, so sex is less messy.

Cons:

  • They can be a bit unromantic when you have to interrupt foreplay to put one on.
  • They can decrease sensitivity for both the man and the woman.
  • Some women have a sensitivity to latex, which is the material that the majority of condoms are made of.
  • Some condoms contain the spermicide Nonoxynol-9, which can cause irritation.
  • The condom can fall or it can tear resulting in possible pregnancy.

2)    The Withdrawal Method (or Pull-Out method)

Pros:

  • In a committed, monogamous relationship, many couples consider the pull-out method.
  • It’s product, hormone and medication-free, plus it can make sex feel more natural than with physical contraceptives.
  • When used properly it has only a 5% failure rate.

Cons:

  • Not good if your partner is clumsy, excitable or stubborn. He needs to pull out at just the right time!
  • You can still get pregnant even if used correctly. This can be attributed to sperm from a recent ejaculation being carried to the egg via pre-ejaculation fluid or if semen lands onto or around the vulva and is then introduced into the vagina.

3)    Natural Family Planning

Natural family planning is a method that teaches you at what time during the month you can have sex without contraception and with a reduced risk of pregnancy. It works by plotting the times of the month when you’re fertile and when you’re not. You learn how to record fertility signals, such as your body temperature and cervical secretions (fluids, or mucus), to identify when it’s safer to have sex. Natural family planning is more effective when more than one fertility signal is monitored.

Pros:

  • It works in harmony with your natural cycle.
  • There are no side-effects and no chemicals.
  • Most women can use this method, provided they understand how it works, keep accurate records and have a regular cycle.
  • It can be used to avoid pregnancy or to help you become pregnant.
  • It can help you recognise normal and abnormal vaginal secretions, so you can be aware of possible infection.
  • It involves your partner in the process, which can help increase feelings of closeness and trust.

Cons:

  • Natural family planning does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • You will need to avoid sex, or use contraception such as condoms, during the fertile phases.
  • It can be much less effective than other methods of contraception.
  • It will not work without the continuing commitment and co-operation of both you and your partner.
  • It can take several menstrual cycles before you become confident in identifying your fertile time.
  • You will need to keep a daily record of your fertility signs.
  • It is not suitable if you have irregular periods.
  • Factors such as stress, illness, travel, lifestyle and use of hormonal treatments can disrupt your fertility signs.

4)    Family Planning Computers

If the traditional natural family planning method seems like far too much hard work, then you might want to splash out a little bit and buy something like The Lady Comp.

Family planning computers are programmed to accurately determine and display the time of ovulation. Ovulation causes a slight, but noticeable rise in body temperature. When you measure your temperature with the sensor every morning before you get up, the fertility computer evaluates the data and quickly recognises your individual fertility pattern. If you are fertile the computer will display a red light and if you are in your infertile phase the computer will show you a green light. The display is 99.3% reliable and valid for the next 24 hours.

For more information visit The Lady Comp website here: https://www.lady-comp.co.uk

5)    Diaphragm and caps

Diaphragms are dome-shaped devices. They are usually made from soft rubber or silicone. They are put into the vagina and form a barrier between sperm and the womb. There are various different types and sizes. Caps are smaller and firmer than diaphragms. They cover just the cervix.

Pros:

  • They are easy use and do not have any serious medical risks.
  • The advantage over a male condom is that you can put it into the vagina at any time before sex.
  • They do not interfere with foreplay
  • They are reusable
  • They do not interfere with your cycle or fertility

Cons:

  • You have to be specially fitted by a medical professional for a diaphragm or cap.
  • Sometimes diaphragms and caps can slip or dislodge during intercourse. Also, they are sometimes difficult to remove.
  • To ensure proper coverage, the device should be carefully examined before each use to be sure it is not punctured or torn. About 10 percent of women can’t use the cervical cap because they have an irregularly shaped cervix.
  • Women using the diaphragm may develop frequent urinary tract infections.
  • Some women and men experience allergic reactions to certain spermicides, rubber, or latex.

Thinking of coming off the pill and worried about how long it will take your hormones to re-balance? Speak to me about my Pill Detox Programme which provides support, relief and detoxing with homeopathic and herbal remedies when making the switch from pill-user to pill-free. More details can be found here.

Do you have any forms of contraception you prefer to use? Feel free to comment below and let us know!

Until next time, have a happy, healthy week!

Claire Zarb LCPH
t: +44 (0)7582 269569
e: claire@clairezarb.com
w: www.clairezarb.com
s: c.zarb

photo credit: Selbe B via photopin cc

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