Okay guys, anyone read up on the last blog on hormonal contraception? If not, click here to have a read. Let’s just say it was quite a long one, who knew there were so many options. Now it’s time for us to look at some non-hormonal options (yep, there are some!).
Right let’s get to it…
Cycle Tracking / Syncing
This is tracking your cycle by using basal body temperature, examining cervical mucus and/or using LH sticks (ovulation sticks) to determine your fertile window. This is a popular option for women who want to learn about their natural cycle and work with their body.
It ties in nicely with cycle syncing, which refers to leaning into the fluctuations that come along with the menstrual cycle phases. It involves making lifestyle choices according to each phase. This means we’re using our menstrual cycle as a framework to live in harmony with our hormones. Rather than doing the exact same thing everyday while our hormones are causing shifts in our mood, digestion & energy. Check out our blog post here that explains cycle syncing in more detail.
The issue with Cycle Tracking is that you REALLY need to be on the ball. Not accurately tracking your cycle has a significant drop in effectiveness.
So be careful not to use a period tracking app as this is based on predictions from previous cycles and not hard science. Using an app like Natural Cycles that works based on your basal body temperature will provide much more accurate results.
Effectiveness: With typical use this can be 93% effective however with perfect use it is 98% effective (pretty similar to that of the combined pill, ring, patch, mini pill and depo injection).
The Copper Coil
This option lasts between 5-10 years. The beauty of this option is that ovulation occurs (YESSSSSSS, that’s what we like to hear). We will get into why this is important another day but because we’re ovulating, we also have a normal period not a withdrawal bleed, an actual period, although it may be heavier than normal.
Another reason why women and people with periods like the copper coil is because your fertility returns immediately after removal. It’s suitable for people of any age including teenagers and those who haven’t had children (the rumours are not true).
Effectiveness: with both typical and perfect use this option is greater than 99% effective and we’re liking those odds.
External Condoms – Male
Okay so we won’t go into the nitty gritty of how to use them, we’ll leave that for another blog post ;). It’s so important to use this kind of condom to avoid STI’s but what we will say is that condoms, which are usually made from latex, are very effective when used perfectly (as effective as cycle tracking). However, this option has to be weighed up with the fact that it’s only 82% effective with typical use which is probably a more accurate representation of how we all use this contraception, I mean no one is perfect, right?
Effectiveness: 98% when used correctly, 82% with typical use
Internal Condoms- Female
Although this option may be more difficult to find, it looks very similar to the male external condom. The female condom is a thin plastic pouch that’s inserted into your vagina before sex & acts like a barrier to stop sperm from entering the womb during sex. It’s an internal barrier method that helps to prevent pregnancy and STI’s.
Just like with the male condom, people usually use this method along with another, better to be safe than sorry.
Effectiveness: With perfect use, this method is 95% effective, but, with typical use, it is only 79% effective (yikes)
But I mean, what fun is that?
Effectiveness? 1000% ☺☺
Whether it’s hormonal or non-hormonal, there are so many options to choose from, it’s all about finding the right one for YOU! Consider your options, your lifestyle, what you’d like, your reasons for choosing contraception and always speak openly with your doctor. Remember, sometimes you choose an option only to find out that it doesn’t suit your body and that’s okay, sometimes it is trial and error. We live and learn!