I’m looking for some natural contraceptives
The rhythm method is suitable for people who do not want to or cannot use medicines or devices. For instance, this may be because:
- You are allergic to devices such as condoms
- You cannot use hormonal methods of contraception because of a medical condition
- You do not want to use modern methods of contraception due to cultural or religious beliefs and preferences
However, it is important to bear in mind that the average success rate for the rhythm method is 88%. If you have tried one form of contraception and do not like it, it may be worth seeing a health professional to discuss other options rather than switching to the rhythm method straight away.
Three natural alternatives to the rhythm method include:
- Withdrawal (pulling out method)
Symptothermal method - a good alternative to the rhythm method. This method works in a similar way: couples abstain from having sex around the time when the woman ovulates. However, the way that the woman works out her fertile period is different to the rhythm method. Women use several indicators to work out when they are ovulating:
- Thickness and texture of the cervical mucus
Alternatively, there are ovulation test kits available for some women who would like a little more help in using this method. However, the cost of these kits may be something to consider. See this guide on the symptothermal method for more information.
Withdrawal method - another natural contraceptive that is around 82% effective. You may have heard of this method before, where a man removes his penis from a woman’s vagina before he ejaculates. However, this method comes with its own risks. Firstly, this does not protect you from contracting a sexually transmitted infection. Additionally, this method is not considered reliable even if a man consistently withdraws before he ejaculates. During sex, a man would release a small amount of lubricating fluid called the pre-ejaculate (precum) which may contain a small amount of sperm.
Abstinence method - finally, some couples use this method when they do not want to become pregnant, where a couple do not have sex at all. This is the only contraceptive that is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. It is important to note that some sexual activity such as mutual masturbation carries a risk of pregnancy if, for instance, sperm is transferred into the womb via your hands. So even if you avoid vaginal sex, you are at some risk of pregnancy from other types of sex.