Last year, we covered numerous topics concerning birth control methods. If you need a recap here are a few articles to read. We understand that choosing the type of contraception that suits you best can be confusing.
- Emergency contraception: the morning-after pill & how it works
- What you need to know about hormonal contraceptives
- The different types of female contraceptives
In this article, we’re going to cover some of the lesser-known birth control methods. Please note we’re not advocating that they are necessarily better, but we would like to make sure that you know about them.
Natural family planning
Birth control is usually associated with using a device or medication (e.g., condoms, IUD, birth control pills). However, natural family planning, also known as fertility awareness, involves planning your sexual activity at the time when a woman is least fertile.
If you have sex with your partner five days (or less) before ovulation, there’s a high probability of falling pregnant. You can avoid this from happening by predicting when you will ovulate. Here are a few different methods.
- Tracking your menstrual cycle
- Measuring your basal body temperature
- Monitoring cervical mucous production
It’s best to make an appointment with an accredited medical professional who can teach you how to follow this method correctly.
Natural family planning is 76% effective.
Spermicides are chemicals (available in different forms: foams, creams, jellies, or films) that kill sperm and prevent them from fertilising the egg produced by your ovaries. It’s critical to note that it needs to be placed deep inside your vagina before you have sex. It’s recommended that spermicides are used in conjunction with other birth control methods.
Spermicides are 72% effective.
Diaphragm and Cervical cap
A diaphragm is a dome-shaped rubber device. Before you have sex, it needs to be inserted into your vagina and make sure it covers your cervix. Once in place, it will prevent sperm from entering and fertilising the egg. It’s not the most practical type of contraception because it’s not easy to insert if you’ve never used it before. There is also a bit of preparation that needs to take place.
A cervical cap is similar to a diaphragm but is smaller. The device also blocks sperm from entering your vagina and preventing the egg from being fertilised. It also needs to be used with spermicide.
The diaphragm is 88% effective.
The cervical cap is also 88% effective.
The vaginal ring is a small, flexible device that contains the same hormones as birth control pills: oestrogen and progestin. It ensures that the eggs don’t leave your ovaries and at the same time, thicken cervical mucous. Remember that it needs to be worn inside your vagina.
The vaginal ring is 91% effective.
How Marie Stopes can help you
Marie Stopes is the global leader in women’s sexual and reproductive health services and can help you. We offer a variety of services including HIV and STI testing and safe abortion should you want to terminate an unplanned pregnancy.
Please book an appointment at one of our centres for more information.