Birth Control

When You Should Choose a Non-Hormonal Birth Control Method

Choosing a birth control method is a significant decision for individuals and couples alike. While hormonal birth control options like pills, patches, and injections are popular, they may not be suitable for everyone. In such cases, non-hormonal birth control methods emerge as viable alternatives.

This article explores the circumstances under which opting for non-hormonal birth control methods becomes the preferred choice.

The Non-Hormonal Birth Control

Non-hormonal birth control methods work without altering the body’s hormonal balance. They provide contraception by creating physical barriers, interfering with sperm motility, or preventing fertilization through mechanisms other than hormone regulation.

Some commonly used non-hormonal birth control methods include barrier methods, intrauterine devices (IUDs) such as copper IUDs, and fertility awareness-based methods. For instance, the Paragard IUD is a copper IUD that is 99% effective and can last up to 10 years.

While non-hormonal birth controls are usually very effective, you also need to be aware of their potential risks, copper IUDs, in particular. Let’s consider the example of Paragard IUD again, which, according to TorHoerman Law, can break while removed. Several women have experienced this problem and filed reports with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) department.

The story of one such Florida-based woman, Veronica Worley, has been covered by KATV. She has been using a Paragard IUD since 2013, which was dislodging. When her nurse tried to remove the device, it broke, and the fragmented part entered her body. Scans found that the location of the broken piece was inside her uterus.

Many women who have experienced this have filed a Paragard IUD lawsuit. These lawsuits allege that the device can fracture during use or removal, which can cause injuries. Women may need medical support or even surgeries to treat these injuries. The device manufacturer and distributors failed to warn the customers enough about the potential problems.

However, despite some issues, as with Paragard IUDs, non-hormonal contraceptive methods are generally considered safe and effective. Moreover, there are some scenarios where using hormonal tactics is not an option.

When to Choose Non-Hormonal Birth Control

Choosing non-hormonal birth control can be a preferred option for individuals who either cannot or prefer not to use hormonal methods. Here are some scenarios when it might be the right choice:

When Hormonal Methods Pose Health Risks

For individuals with specific health conditions or concerns, hormonal birth control methods may not be the safest option. Hormonal contraceptives (HC) can potentially exacerbate certain medical conditions, such as migraines with aura, hypertension, or a history of blood clots. Additionally, individuals who are sensitive to synthetic hormones or have experienced adverse side effects in the past may prefer non-hormonal alternatives.

Some hormonal birth control options can also pose breast cancer health risks. A PLOS Medicine Journal study finds that women using progestogen-only contraceptives are 1.2 to 1.3x more vulnerable to breast cancer. This slight increase in risk does not vary by the mode of delivery. Moreover, it remains the same in single-hormone and combined-hormonal contraceptives.

Mood and Emotional Well-Being

Hormonal fluctuations induced by birth control pills or hormonal implants can impact mood and emotional well-being in some individuals. Not everyone experiences mood changes as a side effect of HC. However, those who may find relief in switching to non-hormonal methods.

An NCBI study shows that using HC can have numerous psychological effects on users. The study of 188 respondents concludes that around 43.6% experienced mood changes as a side effect. It also found that users with some previous psychiatric problems were at a higher risk of mood changes as a side effect. Over 60% of such individuals reported experiencing mood changes compared to 29.5% of those without any historical psychiatric illness.

Desire for Long-Term Contraception

For individuals seeking long-term contraception without the commitment of hormonal methods, non-hormonal options like copper IUDs offer a convenient solution. Copper IUDs can provide effective contraception for up to 10 years without requiring daily maintenance or hormone regulation.

This makes them particularly appealing to individuals who desire reliable birth control without the need for frequent interventions or hormonal adjustments.

However, as stated above, there is a risk of fracture of these devices. Therefore, choosing an experienced doctor who has been implanting and removing copper IUDs for several years is vital. This will reduce the likelihood of breakage and ensure that it doesn’t affect your fertility after removal.

Postpartum and Breastfeeding

During the postpartum period, some individuals prefer non-hormonal birth control methods, especially while breastfeeding. While HC is generally considered safe during breastfeeding, some people may opt for non-hormonal options out of caution or personal preference.

Moreover, HC is also found to elevate the risk of postpartum depression, according to a study by JAMA Psychiatry. The study included 188,648 first-time mothers, with 3% of them having a history of depression associated with HC. It was found that women who previously experienced depression due to HC were at the highest risk.

Concerns About Hormonal Disruption

In recent years, there has been growing awareness and concern about the potential long-term effects of hormonal disruption caused by HC. While research on the topic is ongoing, some individuals may choose non-hormonal birth control methods as a precautionary measure to avoid risks. Non-hormonal options provide peace of mind for those who wish to minimize their exposure to synthetic hormones.

Frequently Asked Questions

When selecting a contraceptive technique, what factors should be considered?

Choosing birth control requires a thoughtful approach. Understanding how effective different methods are helps you pick the best fit. Talking to your doctor is crucial, as some methods might not be suitable for your health. Finally, consider your lifestyle – how often you have s*x and if you prefer a long-term or reversible option. 

What is the most acceptable contraception method?

Individuals’ preferences for contraceptive methods vary greatly. Some people find hormonal techniques like birth control pills to be simple and effective, while others prefer non-hormonal choices like condoms. Factors such as convenience of usage, side effects, and personal attitudes regarding contraception all influence what is considered acceptable for each individual.

What is the best kind of birth control for preventing weight gain?

When it comes to avoiding weight gain, no one contraceptive technique is widely accepted as the best. While some people may suffer weight changes after using hormonal contraceptives, others may not detect any major impacts. Non-hormonal techniques, such as condoms and copper IUDs, are less likely to affect weight.

What is the most effective natural birth control?

Natural birth control methods or fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) work by tracking menstrual cycles and identifying fertile days to avoid conception. The symptothermal approach, which involves monitoring basal body temperature and other reproductive markers, is one of the most successful. However, it demands effort, consistency, and a comprehensive grasp of fertility signals.

To conclude, choosing the right birth control method is a highly personal decision influenced by various factors. For individuals who prefer to avoid HC, non-hormonal contraceptive methods offer effective alternatives that provide contraception without interfering with hormonal balance.

Non-hormonal solutions enable people to make decisions that are in line with their needs and objectives. Individuals who understand when to use non-hormonal birth control techniques can make more educated decisions regarding their reproductive health and contraception options.

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