Having a variety of birth control options is beneficial. But it can be difficult to decide which to use. However, it may be helpful to first choose between hormonal birth control pills and nonhormonal methods. By suppressing or stopping ovulation, hormonal birth control lowers the probability of becoming pregnant. It also thins your uterine lining to restrict a fertilized egg from implantation. The medicine thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm from accessing the egg.
- Whereas, viable sperm cannot physically reach an egg when using a nonhormonal birth control alternative. For instance, semen cannot reach your cervix when barrier techniques like condoms are used.
- Your decision may be different from that of a friend or relative because it is personal. Depending on your circumstances, it might switch between any of the types of birth control available today.
In this post, we will discuss the contraceptive methods that contain hormones and those that do not. We will also talk about their benefits and cons to assist you in making your choice.
The Use of Hormonal Birth Control
If you use hormonal women’s contraception accurately, it has a high efficacy rate of up to 99%. And if you forget to take a dose, then the efficacy rate reduces to 91%. Other pregnancy prevention measures have over 90% success rate on appropriate utilization. These include the ring, intrauterine device, implant, skin patch, and shot. There are lots of alternatives to consider, so you can pick one that suits your needs and preferences.
If you consider pills, then types of pregnancy prevention methods include minipill, combination pills, and extended or continuous cycle pills. The medication also helps ease irregular periods and stabilize issues otherwise with your menstrual cycle. For instance, you can get relief from symptoms such as cramping and headaches. They may also assist with the premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and other concerns.
Other Benefits of Birth Control Pills
Every month when menstrual bleeding occurs, some women suffer from heavy flow (menorrhagia). Here, the best birth control is hormonal as it can reduce the heavy flow. And if there is a much serious issue, there are medicines that can entirely stop the periods, yet not harm your health. For this, you need to consult your healthcare provider who will guide you about the medications to halt the periods. Some even believe that the pill can cause a decline in the risk of colorectal, endometrial, and ovarian cancer.
Cons of Hormonal Contraceptives
It is possible to avert pregnancy on birth control but there are a few side effects. These may happen in the initial stages. These however reduce when your body adjusts to the hormone’s levels. Some of these outcomes are:
- Irregular periods
- Mood swings
- Cramping and pain
- Ovarian cysts
- Increased vaginal wetness
- Changes in the weight
- Breast tenderness
If certain pregnancy prevention methods do not suit you, then there is an increased risk of uterine puncture especially for an IUD, heart attack, blood clots, stroke, chills, breathing issues, and fever. In case of any of these incidents, get in touch with your physician immediately. If you are over 35 years of age and use tobacco, then estrogen-containing contraceptives may be unsafe.
Hormonal women’s health birth control is also not advisable if you have existing migraine auras, clotting disorder, breast cancer, vein inflammation, uncontrolled diabetes, heart attack or stroke probability, high blood pressure, or liver disease.
Some Concerns About Hormonal Contraception
Another contention point is that the pill method is not immediately effective. It purely depends on when you begin using the medicine, or the type of method you use such as combined birth control pills, progestin-only pills, etc. For the first seven days, you may have to utilize a barrier method as a backup.
While the advantages of birth control pills outweigh the cons, you must understand that stopping pills can delay fertility for some as you wait for your menstrual cycle to regularize according to the usual schedule of ovulation. But others can get pregnant as soon as they halt taking the medicines. It depends on your health as to what shall happen.
Also, keep in mind that, unlike a non-hormonal contraceptive pill or method, the hormonal counterpart does not offer protection against sexually transmitted infections or diseases. So, to ensure that STI does not occur, you must use a barrier method when having penetrative intercourse vaginally or anal and even during oral activity.
The Use of Non-Hormonal Birth Control Methods
The difference between hormonal and non-hormonal contraception primarily is the involvement and absence of female sex hormones. The former contains hormones, while the latter does not, but effectively offers restriction from conceiving. So, which method you choose, depends on your choice, health, the advice of your healthcare provider, your lifestyle, and other factors. Here are some of the options available:
- Internal or external condom
- Cervical cap
- Birth control sponge
- Contraceptive gel or spermicide
- Fertility awareness
- Pull-out method
- Tubal ligation
With a non-hormonal birth control pill, there are so side effects from hormones. This method works by stopping sperm through the utilization of a barrier, it can destroy the sperm entirely such as with the use of spermicide. Also, you can use this technique at the time of intercourse. You do not have to take a pill daily or remember to consume the medicine at a particular hour.
The concern of immediate effectiveness is also taken care of. The moment you start using the product, it gives effect instantly and there is no waiting time, unlike hormonal contraception. If there is a copper implant, it stays inside the body and does the needful to protect against an unplanned pregnancy expertly.
There is no impact on your reproductive health or menstrual cycle. And you can conceive as soon as you stop with the non-hormonal contraceptive. Another alternative to birth control pills that provide protection from STIs and are non-hormonal include condoms, both for internal and external use. But no other methods here will give you this benefit.
Cons of Non-Hormonal Contraception Options
The efficacy rate of such birth control means will differ from one another. For instance, the cervical cap can give a success of 71% to 86%, while abstinence and outercourse are 100% successful. In case of accidental pregnancy, you can always opt for early medical termination with pills that empty the uterus just like a natural miscarriage. You can go for this treatment at home, and only if the pregnancy is intrauterine and within 9 weeks of gestation. Otherwise, you have to opt for an invasive method of pregnancy termination.
There are several advantages of birth control due to having no hormones. But the product or method you pick here depends heavily on your lifestyle, abstaining from intimacy, avoiding intercourse completely during fertility window days, and fertility awareness so that you can make the right decision at the appropriate time.
There are a few side effects to expect such as an increased risk of toxic shock syndrome from the use of a sponge, an increased risk of urinary tract infection from the diaphragm, and allergy or irritation to spermicide. Also, you need to consistently utilize it for pregnancy safeguard.
Do not want to get pregnant? You can always choose between hormonal and non-hormonal methods. Know the use, benefits, and cons of both these contraception measures so that you can determine, which one will suit your health and overall needs.