Can't Handle Hormonal Birth Control? What Are Your Options?

9 May 2019
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog


If you've tried various forms of hormonal birth control and have concluded that they're just not right for you, you may be wondering whether you have any reliable birth control options other than condoms or a tubal ligation. While condoms are a good "safe sex" practice, for those in monogamous relationships, they can feel cumbersome. Additionally, many women may not want the permanency that comes from having one's tubes tied. Read on to learn more about a few other reliable, hormone-free birth control options.

Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD)

Although some brands of IUD contain hormones that are released within your body over the life of the IUD (usually around five years), there are also hormone-free IUDs that are made entirely of copper. These IUDs are just as reliable as hormonal IUDs with a more than 99 percent effectiveness rate at preventing pregnancy, and they can last up to 10 years before removal or replacement is required. If you'd like a birth control method that's essentially "set it and forget it," an IUD may be the perfect option. 

Diaphragm or Cervical Cap

Both diaphragms and cervical caps are small, flexible devices designed to fit over the cervix and prevent sperm from penetrating and potentially reaching an egg. These devices are often used in combination with a spermicidal lubricant, which can reduce the number of active sperm inside the vagina and therefore increase the effectiveness rate. Although these devices allow for condomless sex, they must be manually inserted before sex and removed afterward. It's a good idea to thoroughly clean and disinfect your diaphragm or cervical cap after each use to avoid infection.


One episode of Seinfeld made the birth control sponge famous. Although Elaine Benes bemoaned the discontinuation of this birth control method, the sponge is still alive and well. Much like a cervical cap, the spermicide-containing sponge blocks the opening of the cervix and kills any sperm that attempt to make their way inside. After sex, the sponge should be removed and discarded. One advantage to the sponge over the cervical cap or diaphragm is the easy cleanup because simply throwing the sponge in the trash can is all you'll need to do.

It's also important to note that none of these non-hormonal birth control methods are effective against sexually transmitted diseases and infections. If you're looking for all-around protection, pairing one of these birth control methods with good old-fashioned condoms should keep you safe.