Regular sex life is what most people have, but sadly, not all of them take equal care of their reproductive health. This is wrong, because your reproductive health matters, even if you don’t plan to have a family one day. Luckily, there are many birth control options that can help you enjoy your sex life but a lot of them tend to mess up your hormones and cause some unpleasant changes in your body. Therefore, if you’re sexually active, here are some non-hormonal birth control methods that you should consider using.
Let’s start with the most used type of birth control: condoms. Back in the day, condoms were mostly associated with sex workers, but as times progressed, they’ve become more widespread. Then, in the 1908s, the AIDS epidemic happened, which forced sexually active people (many of them LGBTQ+) to start using condoms to avoid this terrible disease. Condoms of the past were mostly made of animal intestines. Nowadays they’re more gentle and durable. There are 2 types of condoms: male ones (inserted on the penis) and female ones (inserted on the vagina). They’re the most effective because aside from preventive unwanted pregnancy, they also protect from sexually transmitted diseases.
2. The withdrawal method
This method (also known as “the pull out method”) used to be popular when there were no other birth control options. However, with the advancement of technology, using this method can be quite risky. The main point of the withdrawal is to remove the penis before ejaculation, in order to prevent the sperm to reach the egg. But, since there’s still semen in pre-ejaculate, this method can be highly unreliable and dangerous.
3. The copper IUD
The copper IUD, or copper coil, is a type of durable and efficient birth control. It causes inflammation of the uterus, which also prevents the sperm to fertilize the egg. This type of contraception can be a great solution because it can be used up to five days after unprotected sex. Still, this birth control method should be fitted only by a healthcare professional who knows the female anatomy and has proper tools to ensure smooth and safe insertion.
4. Birth control app
There are multiple birth control apps, some of them free. It’s up to you to do research and decide on the one that works best for you. Basically, such apps use data that you provide to calculate your cycle and ovulation days. As time goes on, an app will learn the pattern of your cycle, and thus, will inform when it’s safe to have unprotected sex, and when you should use protection (ovulation days). Some apps can also help you track your PMS symptoms, which can be handy to those who suffer from painful menstruation.
5. Vasectomy and sterilization
If you or your partner are absolutely sure that you don’t want to have children, then this type of birth control is right for you. Vasectomy and sterilization (tying fallopian tubes) are invasive surgical procedures which modify reproductive tracts and thus, prevent conception. Since such procedures are mostly irreversible, it’s important to take your time before making such a drastic decision. They’re about 99% effective, which makes them the most reliable methods of contraception, and once you get them, you’d be set for life.
These birth control methods are non-hormonal, but not all of them are equally effective. The pull-out method should be avoided, especially by those who are sexually inexperienced. If you can’t decide on your preferred birth control method, feel free to talk to your healthcare provider to get some additional info. Finally, remember to be honest with your partner, and make sure to take care of your health even if you don’t have regular sex.