Birth Control 101: Types of Non-Hormonal Birth Control

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Find the best hormonal birth control for you, part 4.

You may be wondering, “what are non-hormonal birth control methods?” Non-hormonal birth control methods use no hormones at all. You may not realize it, but you probably already know of or use non-hormonal birth control, like:

  • Natural Family Planning
  • The Withdrawal Method

Barrier Methods, such as a cervical cap, condom, diaphragm and sponge are also non-hormonal birth control.

Natural Family Planning

Natural family planning, a.k.a. the fertility awareness method, is where you closely track your period to help you tell when you’re most able to get pregnant. This is when you’re ovulating.

To track this, you’ll need to pay very close attention to your body and its patterns. It is important to note that when you are close to ovulating, you should use an extra method of sexual protection, like a backup barrier method, or avoid sex altogether — unless you are planning to have a baby.

There a many different ways you can track your period cycle:

Digital Birth Control – where you can track your cycle through an app such as Natural Cycles, an FDA approved digital birth control. By taking your temperature every morning and recording it in the app, it can help you gauge your fertility level.

  • Note: digital birth control should be used as a tool to help you understand how fertile you are. It isn’t intended to give you the same results as other birth control.

Standard Days Method – with the help of CycleBeads, colored beads that help you mark off the days of your menstrual cycle, you’re able to track your fertility.

  • Note: your menstrual cycle must be between 26 – 32 days long to find success using CycleBeads.

Two Day Method –  every day you check to see if you have any vaginal discharge. If you notice discharge of any type – today or yesterday – you’ll consider yourself fertile. This means you should use a backup birth control or avoid sex.

Symptothermal Method – This method predicts fertility by combining the other natural family planning methods.

Quick Facts to Keep in Mind

  • Effectiveness:
    • Perfect Use: 95-99.6%
    • Typical Use: 77-98%
  • Does not protect against STIs, including HIV
  • In-depth, daily tracking needed to find success with natural family planning methods
  • Total self-discipline
  • No side effects
  • Low to no cost

The Withdrawal Method

The Withdrawal Method, commonly known as pulling-out, is when a male partner pulls out before ejaculating. Withdrawal relies on body awareness and the ability to predict ejaculation to pull out beforehand.

Quick Facts to Keep in Mind

  • Effectiveness
    • Perfect Use: 96%
    • Typical Use: 80%
  • Does not protect against STIs, including HIV
  • Doesn’t cost anything or a visit to the doctor
  • Total self-discipline
  • No hormones, no devices and no side effects

Take control of your future and find the right family planning tools for you by exploring more of