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Non-Hormonal Birth Control

Hormonal birth control doesn’t work for all women—some experience side-effects, others just aren’t comfortable with the idea of altering their bodies in such a fundamental way.

Non-hormonal birth control includes barrier and natural methods, the copper IUD, and sterilization. The only contraceptives that provide effective protection against STDs are male and female condoms.

Barrier contraceptives keep sperm from entering the uterus and fertilizing the egg. Barrier methods include condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and contraceptive sponges.


In general, barrier methods are less effective but have fewer side effects than hormonal methods or IUDs.

The copper IUD or intrauterine device is a T-shaped device that is placed inside the uterus and regularly releases a small amount of copper, which acts as a spermicide.


Natural methods rely entirely on being attentive to what’s going on in the body. The withdrawal method is widely used, but unreliable. About 1 in 5 women who practice the withdrawal method get pregnant within a year. The cervical mucus method and the calendar method are natural ways to protect oneself against unwanted pregnancy (and facilitating wanted pregnancy) by reading bodily signs.

Sterilization is an option for both men and women who no longer wish to have children. Most of these surgical processes are irreversible, and should therefore be very carefully considered before any decisions are made.

What is the LAM method? Which non-hormonal method is considered the most effective? Read more about Non-Hormonal Birth Control here.

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