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2021 06 14 natural haulage title

Stopping the pill - and then? A comparison of natural contraceptives

NFP, copper IUDs, diaphragms - the list of hormone-free contraceptives is long. We bring clarity to the jungle of natural contraception and explain the most important methods.

Do you want to use contraception without disrupting your body's - already complicated - hormone balance? You're not alone. More and more women want to stop taking the pill and are looking for a contraceptive that doesn't interfere with their hormonal balance. natural cycle intervenes.

The list of hormone-free contraceptives is now surprisingly long and varied. We have summarised the most important alternatives to the pill and the like, because hormone-based contraception is a thing of the past!

Understanding body signals with natural family planning

Natural family planning, in short NFPis the umbrella term for various individual contraceptive methods that are usually combined with each other. However, all variants, such as the temperature method or the symptothermal method, have in common that you need to observe your own body very closely. This is because you use contraception by recognising the signals your body gives you. For example, some women experience light bleeding when they ovulate or feel a pulling sensation in their lower abdomen.

To use NFP correctly, it is important that you document your cycle precisely so that you know which symptoms occur in which phase of the cycle. You can document the body signals on paper or in an app. Our femSense App has been developed precisely for this purpose, together with the femSense Patches to track your cycle in a simple and uncomplicated way.

The safety of NFP depends very much on the exact methods you use, how regularly and for how long you have been monitoring your cycle and how well you understand your body's signals. However, if natural family planning is used correctly, it is a very safe contraceptive and even has a Pearl Index of 0.4 to 1.8, which is similar to that of the pill.

The Pearl Index indicates how safe a contraceptive is. It always indicates how many women out of 100 who use a contraceptive will become pregnant within a year. This means that for every 100 women who use the copper IUD for a year, 0.1-3 women will become pregnant.

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Long-term contraception with copper

If you want to stop taking the pill and don't want to have children in the next few years, a contraceptive with copper could be just the thing for you!

The Copper spiral is a T-shaped plastic frame around which a copper wire is wound. Like the hormone coil, it is inserted into the uterus and can remain there for up to ten years. The copper releases small amounts of copper ions, which restrict the motility of the sperm and kill them. In addition, the copper ions change the nature of the lining of the uterus so that no eggs can implant.

The Copper chain and the Copper ball are further developments of the IUD and differ from the IUD only in their shape, not in the way they work. The size of the uterus is often the reason why women opt for the copper ball or the copper chain.

All three variants with copper have in common that insertion and removal is painful for some women. On the other hand, contraception with copper is very safe, with a Pearl Index of 0.1-3.

The classic - the condom

The best-known and most popular hormone-free contraceptive is probably the Condom. It is also the only contraceptive for men. The big advantage of the condom is that it is easy to use and also protects you from sexually transmitted diseases. This is particularly important if you often change partners.

The safety of the condom depends, for example, on whether the man uses the correct condom size. This is why the Pearl Index of the condom is 2-12.

2021 08 04 discontinue cycle tracker pill

Condoms for women? Yes, there are

Complicated name, but simple idea! The Diaphragm looks like a large, unrolled condom that you place in your vagina. The diaphragm thus forms a barrier for the Sperm. It is combined with a gel that also weakens sperm activity. The disadvantage of the diaphragm is that it has to stay in your vagina for at least six hours after intercourse to kill all the sperm. This can sometimes be really inconvenient. If you still have plans for the day, you must always factor in the removal of the diaphragm.

In addition, the safety of the diaphragm varies greatly depending on how well you know how to use it. The Pearl Index here is 1-20.

Only men can protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases? Not true! The Femidom is the only contraceptive that also offers this protection to women. It looks like a giant condom and works like one too. You insert the femidom into the vagina and it adheres to the vaginal walls like a thin skin. This blocks the sperm from entering the uterus. The femidom has the same Pearl Index as the condom, namely 2-12.

Contraception with chemicals instead of hormones

Not against fever, but for prevention, the Vaginal suppositories used. You perform it before the Sexual intercourse into the vagina, where it dissolves and releases a spermicidal agent. This inhibits the sperm's freedom of movement and partially kills them. When the suppository dissolves, a foam is created in the vagina, which also forms a barrier in front of the cervix. However, a suppository is only sufficient for one ejaculation and is not considered a safe contraceptive. 6-21 out of 100 women who use the method for a year will become pregnant.

Sources:

Smilga (2022), Hormone-free contraception - competition for the pill

Hormone-free contraception: an overview of all options (2022)

Hormone-free contraception (2023)

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