Not ready to have another baby? Here are the alternative contraception methods that you can try.
What can you read in this article?
- Family planning methods
- What are the natural methods of contraception that you can try?
- What is the least effective method of contraception?
Family planning is not only important for your family’s financial situation but is also important for you and your children’s health. But what if you and your partner don’t want to use condoms or the pill, the most commonly used contraceptives?
This is the question that one theAsianparent Community user r asked.
Havana says that she doesn’t want to take oral contraceptives because of their side effects, but it must be noted that most contraceptive methods have their own set of side effects.
Why some women won’t take pills
Used properly, oral contraceptives or birth control pills are 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. They work by stopping ovulation so that there will be no fertilization, or by thickening the cervical mucus so that the sperm cannot penetrate and reach the egg.
Oral contraceptives contain different kinds of hormones that also have different effects on the body, hence the added benefits and the side effects. Possible benefits include reduced menstrual cramps and reduced acne. However, some of the usual side effects are migraines, nausea, and weight gain. For this reason, some women are not very keen on using pills.
For some moms, they also don’t want to use pills for the time being because they’re breastfeeding and combination pills may affect their milk supply. However, breastfeeding (exclusive breastfeeding, that is) is a natural form of contraception, and if they really want to use oral contraceptives, they can always try progestin-only pills which are safe for nursing moms.
Alternative contraception methods
But if it is hormonal contraceptives that you’re worried about, there are some contraceptive methods that don’t rely on progestin or estrogen. Here are some of the methods you can try:
Photo: Ryan Somma on Flickr
A diaphragm is placed inside the vagina at least six hours before sex, preventing sperm from getting into the uterus. It can also be reused many times.
To get one, schedule an appointment with your gynecologist, who will see if it’s safe for you, and will teach you how to use it. According to Planned Parenthood website, the use of diaphragm is 88 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.
There are very few serious side effects with diaphragms, but there are some minor side effects, like urinary tract infections and vaginal irritation.
The Intrauterine Device (IUD)
Photo: Sarah Mirk on Flickr
“The safest option you have today is the IUD, which is inserted in the vaginal passage by your doctor and is good for a period of up to 10 years,” wrote another mom in the comments section.
There are two kinds of IUDs: hormonal and copper-based. Copper IUDs prevent sperm from reaching the egg or prevent a sterilized egg from implanting. Like the diaphragm, you need to visit your doctor to see if the IUD is right for you, and to get one implanted.
Some side effects of the copper IUD include anemia, backache, cramps, pain during sex, and severe menstrual pain. Less than 1% of women who use copper IUDs will get pregnant in the first year, and those who conceive while using a copper IUD are at a higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy.
“If you’re not planning to have any more babies, why don’t you ask him to get sterilized?” another mom responded. “It’s a very simple procedure and will ensure you don’t get pregnant.”
Though there are sterilizations that can be reversed, vasectomies and ligations are considered a permanent method of birth control. There have been rare cases where blocked tubes grow back and reconnect, so this still isn’t a fool-proof contraceptive method.
Birth control implants
If you’re okay with hormones but are not keen on using pills or inserting something “down there,” you can talk to your OB-gynecologist about birth control implants. According to the Planned Parenthood website, this type of birth control is 99 percent effective.
The birth control implant is a tiny, thin rod about the size of a matchstick that releases hormones into your body to prevent you from getting pregnant.
A nurse or doctor does the procedure by inserting the implant into your arm and that’s it — you’re protected from pregnancy for 3 to 5 years. You can also have it removed prior to its expiration date.
Implants are available to different local health centers around the country but you can also get this one in private clinics. If you want to try this method you can go to the nearest barangay health centers, but make sure to consult your OB before considering this kind of family planning method.
Birth control shots
But if you want something more short-term, you can also consider having birth control shots, or better known here in the Philippines as Depo-Provera.
It’s an injection that contains progestin, the hormone that’s well known for thickening the cervical mucus and preventing ovulation. According to Planned Parenthood, this particular type of birth control is 94 percent effective if used properly.
To ensure the efficacy of this alternative contraception method, you need to get the injection every 3 months.
Depo-Provera shot is also available to different local health care centers in the Philippines. But before getting this shot for contraception ask your doctor first if it’s the best contraception method for you. Because once you got the shot it will not be irreversible right away.
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What are the natural methods of contraception?
If you don’t like to use any sort of medications or instruments to prevent pregnancy, there are still some natural forms of alternative contraception methods that you can try to keep yourself from getting pregnant.
Some of the most popular natural methods of contraception are the following:
This is the most well-known fertility awareness method where you chart your menstrual cycle on a calendar, track your ovulation period and avoid sexual intercourse on your fertile days. However, this alternative contraception method isn’t very effective to women who have irregular menstrual cycles.
There’s a lot of calendar method app you can download to track your menstruation and ovulation to prevent pregnancy.
This natural method of contraception requires you to track your cervical mucus or vaginal discharge. When you’re ovulating, it is usually clear, stretchy, and wet, like raw egg whites. You write down what your mucus is like each day so you know when you’re ovulating, and like the calendar method, avoid sexual intercourse on the non-safe days.
This natural form of contraception relies on your temperature to prevent pregnancy. According to medical experts, temperature can rise between 0.5 and 1 degree when you ovulate and stay there until your next period. So with this particular method of contraception, you should take your temperature before you get out of bed each morning and again, avoid having sex on days when you’re ovulating.
On their own, these natural forms of contraception are very limited and not as effective in preventing pregnancy. But if you do these three all at the same time, it increases their effectiveness.
This is the most widely used form of contraception because well, it’s free, it has no side effects and you can just use it anytime.
But according to experts, the worst form of contraception is no contraception at all. This is why this form of natural contraception is the second least effective in preventing pregnancy (next to using spermicides) because it only relies on human effort, which is not very accurate all the time. Then there’s also the issue of premature ejaculation, which makes this form of birth control (if you can really consider it as such) very risky.
Image from Unsplash
If you’re really not ready to get pregnant yet, the best form of natural contraception is abstinence. But if that’s not possible, you can try these alternative contraception methods we have enumerated.
However, to ensure their effectiveness and prevent unwanted side effects, it’s best to consult your OB-gynecologist first before starting or trying any form of contraception method to see which one works best for you.
Because as they say, the best form of birth control is the one that effectively prevents pregnancy and fits your lifestyle. So planned it well and ensure to consult first with your doctor.
Additional information by Camille Eusebio
Planned Parenthood, WebMD, CDC
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