There’s more to contraception than the ubiquitous condom or, frankly, the irresponsible pull-out-method. While it’s normal to stick to what you’ve tried and tested, there are more options available in the market that you might want to consider.
Before trying any of them, it would be wise to consult a medical professional and not simply rely on the list—in fact we urge you to go to a doctor and show them which item here you’re interested in trying.
Check out the pros and cons of these other contraceptives. Who knows? One of these just might be more suitable for you (and bae, of course).
8. Natural Family Planning
For those with amazing discipline and self-control, this birth control method is probably for you. Natural family planning prevents pregnancy by having sex only during a woman’s infertile period. This requires observing three to six menstrual cycles to determine the signs when a woman is fertile or not.
Pros: Completely natural and makes you more aware of your body
Cons: No protection from STIs, requires a lot of time observing and record-keeping, no intercourse for at least a week each month, can’t be used by women with irregular periods
7. The Female Condom
Yep, girls can wear a rubber, too. The female condom is a thin tube of latex that you insert inside the vagina to stop sperm from entering.
Pros: Protection from STIs, can be inserted hours before intercourse, easily removable, makes male withdrawal right after ejaculation unnecessary.
Cons: Not as widely available as male condoms, possibility of tearing, can lessen sensitivity.
6. The Pill
Birth control pills are essentially hormones that women take on a daily basis, which prevent them from getting pregnant.
Pros: No interruptions during intercourse, decreases menstrual cramps, makes menstrual periods lighter and more regular.
Cons: No protection from STIs, needs to be taken every day at the same time, can’t be taken by women with certain medical conditions.
5. The Implant
Game for a contraceptive inserted under your skin? The implant is a long-term, yet reversible contraceptive that’s effective for up to three years. It looks like a small rod, and it’s placed under the skin of a woman’s upper arm.
Pros: Long-term method, which also means no hassle after the insertion, and also: reversible.
Cons: No protection from STIs, requires minor surgery to insert and remove, may infect the area of insertion, can’t be used by women with certain medical conditions.
4. The IUD
Here’s another option for those interested in a long-acting contraceptive. The intrauterine device is a small, T-shaped coil made from plastic and copper that health professionals put inside the uterus. It prevents pregnancies for five up to 10 years, but its effects can be reversed anytime.
Pros: Long-term method, no hassle after insertion, no hormones, reversible.
Cons: No protection from STIs, requires help from a health professional, makes you prone to infection in the first 20 days after insertion, can’t be used by women with certain medical conditions.
3. The Diaphragm
Another one for the girl. Together with spermicide, the diaphragm is inserted inside the vagina to cover the cervix. The diaphragm prevents sperm from entering while the spermicide kills the sperm upon contact and in case of a leak. Here are specific instructions how to use one.
Pros: No hormones, can be placed up to three hours before intercourse, can stay inside the vagina for up to six hours.
Cons: No protection from STIs, requires spermicide (another contraceptive), tricky to use for first-timers.
2. The Injection
What if not worrying about an unplanned pregnancy can be as easy as one injection? You have the option to get progestogen injected into you, which makes you infertile for up to 13 weeks.
Pros: Long-term method, no hassle after injection, decreases menstrual cramps.
Cons: No protection from STIs, irreversible for a certain period, can cause weight gain, requires help from a health professional.
1. The Patch
Once you stick the contraceptive patch on your skin, it’ll release estrogen and progestogen that stop ovulation. It’s similar to taking hormones via birth control pills, but the dose from the patch is much higher—about 60% more. A patch can be worn for up to one week. After that, simply replace it with a new one.
Pros: Hassle-free, decreases menstrual cramps.
Cons: No protection from STIs, requires a prescription, can’t be used by women with certain medical conditions.
Which contraceptive do you like to use or recommend? Sound off below!