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7 hormone-free methods of contraception

Is it possible without the pill? Of course! These 7 methods of contraception do not require hormones. Here’s how they work and how safe they are

The pill is usually a reliable contraceptive, no question. Its introduction in the 1960s was celebrated as a milestone in the history of women’s self-determination. But the pill has many downsides.

Quite a few women also feel health impairments due to the hormone intake: headaches up to migraines, depressive moods, loss of libido and weight gain are not so rare side effects.

Those who suffer from it often experience a completely new, positive body feeling by switching to hormone-free contraception. That’s why we’ve put together the best methods for hormone-free contraception for you here.

Why should you use hormone-free contraception?

If you suffer from some of the physical ailments mentioned, hormone-free contraception is worth a try to make you feel more comfortable in your skin again. Even if you have no specific complaints, but the potential side effects of the pill put you off, this is worth looking at the alternatives. For example, according to a study, the risk of suffering thrombosis, i.e. a life-threatening blood clot, by taking the pill, is significantly increased.

For women who travel a lot and travel in different time zones, hormone-free contraceptives also offer more safety: If regular, precise pill intake becomes a problem, the risk of unintentionally becoming pregnant increases significantly.

Even and especially if you take the pill above all, because men say they can “not so well with condom” you should think carefully about whether you want to expose your body to this hormonal constant fire just for the reason.

Pearl Index: How safe is hormone-free Contraception?

Let’s say: A high level of security is possible. Safe contraception without hormones sounds unimaginable to many and some hormone-free contraceptives are rightly considered unsafe. But this does not apply to everyone.

The Pearl Index reveals how safe a contraceptive is. The value indicates how many out of 100 women became pregnant in a period of 12 months despite the use of a certain method of contraception. The following applies: The lower the value, the better. For comparison: The Pearl index of common birth control pills is about 0.1 to 3.0, depending on the preparation. Some of the hormone-free strategies can certainly compete:

These 7 methods of contraception without hormones every woman should know:

You’ve probably heard of one or the other, but it’s good to have them all at a glance.

1. The copper spiral

The T-shaped plastic body wrapped in copper is inserted into the uterus, where it changes the mucus and inhibits sperm motility. If an egg is nevertheless fertilized, it cannot implant in the uterus due to the mechanical effect of the IUD.

Advantage: With the IUD, you don’t have to worry about contraception for 3 to 7 years, because as long as it stays in the uterus.

Disadvantage: The spiral is a foreign body and causes inflammation in the lining of the uterus. In addition, the menstrual period and menstrual pain can become stronger due to the spiral.

Cost: 120 to 200 euros.

Pearl Index: 0.3 to 0.8

2. The calendar method

In hormone-free contraception with the calendar method, the period is documented in a cycle diary and the fertile days are calculated based on this.

Disadvantage: Since each cycle can fluctuate and ovulation cannot be calculated exactly, it is rightly considered unsafe and is not recommended as the sole method of contraception.

Costs: A cycle diary costs about 10 euros, but you can write it down on freestyle.

Pearl Index: 9

3. The contraceptive computer

It measures the estrogen and LH concentration in the morning urine and thus determines your fertile days.

Advantage: Does not interfere with the hormonal balance and is easy to apply.

Disadvantage: Relatively expensive and on the fertile days must be additionally prevented.

Costs: 125 to 600 Euro

4. Temperature measurement

In the morning before getting up, the basal body temperature is measured. After ovulation, this increases by 0.2 to 0.5 degrees. Important: Use a thermometer with 2 digits after the decimal point!

Advantage: You don’t interfere with the natural cycle. The morning measurement ritual can also make you feel more consciously about how you feel.

Disadvantage: Safe contraception with the thermometer requires a lot of experience and discipline. In addition, alcohol, medication, poor sleep or stress can falsification of the measurement results.

Cost: 2 to 20 euros with a thermometer; more expensive, but easier, with a temperature-based contraceptive computer like the Daysy cycle computer, which allows you to download your cycle data to your phone)

Pearl Index: 0.8 to 3

5. The Billings Method

The mucus on the cervix (cervical mucus) changes over the course of the cycle. Shortly before ovulation, it becomes clear and spinnable (forms threads). Thus, it can be concluded that ovulation is imminent.

Advantage: Like temperature measurement, the Billings method is a form of natural contraception that does not affect the hormonal balance.

Disadvantage: Works only with a stable cycle and regular living conditions. The cervical mucus can be strongly influenced by external influences and the method is therefore uncertain.

Pearl Index: 15

6. The Symptothermal Method

Combination of calendar, temperature and billings method. Used correctly, it is as reliable as the pill and, in addition to the copper IUD, the safest hormone-free contraception.

Advantage: No hormones in the game – and you become an expert for your own body. The great thing is that the method can also be used specifically for the desire to have children, which is why it is also referred to as “natural family planning”. Tip: Cycle apps like Ovy help document symptoms and keep an eye on everything.

Disadvantage: The method must be learned and applied in a very disciplined manner. During the fertile days, you must either abstain from sex or additionally use contraception.

Cost: 2 to 20 euros for a thermometer, with app it will be more expensive.

Pearl Index: 0.4

7. The condom

Yes, the classic is still in the race and should not be missing in this list of hormone-free contraceptives. “But that can tear!” – Yes, that can happen. As with any method of contraception, the more practiced it is, the safer it is. Compared to the diaphragm (Pearl Index 14), the condom is still relatively easy to use.

Advantage: Also protects against STDs and is the only solution for protected sex on the fertile days.

Disadvantage: Condoms are not exactly popular and regularly spark a dispute about who is responsible for contraception. Tip: Don’t get involved in discussions and just have one with you. Better safe than sorry.

Cost: about 60 cents

Pearl Index: 2 to 12

Some hormone-free contraceptive methods are as safe as the pill and therefore worth considering, precisely because of the physical impairments caused by hormone administration. Discuss with your gynecologist which method is best for you. Involve your partner – after all, he should also take responsibility.

 

 

 

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