What non-oral contraceptives are there?
There are a lot of alternatives to oral contraceptives. These include:
How they work
|Non-oral, hormonal contraceptives
||Slowly release hormones which control the menstrual cycle and prevent pregnancy. This has the advantage of being similar to contraceptive pills, without having to remember to take medicines every day
|Non-hormonal contraceptive devices
- The diaphragm
- Intrauterine device (IUD), the copper contraceptive coil
|Generally works by stopping contact between the sperm and the egg. The IUD works by making the womb an unpleasant environment for the sperm and egg to survive.
||By not having sex at all, or by having sex when you are not ovulating, you reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. Pulling out can help avoid sperm coming into contact with an egg but is not reliable.
Non-oral vs. oral contraceptives
The big advantage of taking non-oral contraceptives is that you don’t have to remember to take it every day. These work in a similar way as the Pill, but if you think you will have trouble remembering to take the Pill every day, non-oral, hormonal contraceptives are a good option. However, most non-oral options need to be fitted by a healthcare professional, with the exception of the patch or vaginal ring.
Devices vs. oral contraceptives
Unlike oral contraceptives, most devices only need to be used when you have sex. Also, the condom has the advantage that it protects you from sexually-transmitted infections (STI). Even if you are taking oral contraceptives every day, we recommend that you use a condom when you have sex to prevent getting an STI.
Behavioural vs. oral contraceptives
One advantage of the behavioural methods is that you do not need medicines or devices to stop pregnancy, therefore it has no side effects. However, this method reduces the spontaneity of sex. If you don’t know when you will be having sex, we recommend that you try a different method of contraception.