What Can You Do If Hormonal Birth Control Isn’t Right For You?

by Elizabeth Ollero

If hormonal birth control doesn’t sit well with you, you’re not alone: Side effects include mood changes, weight gain, depression, and more severely, deep vein thombrosis or blood clots. Yes, methods like the pills or Nuvaring can be a great option for many, but if it’s not for you—fear not! You have so many alternatives.

Would the hormone-free birth controls please form an orderly line…

Here we have the diaphragm!  The diaphragm is a shallow, dome-shaped cup inserted into your vagina to cover the cervix. Exciting! If you can put in a tampon, you can put in Ms. Diaphragm. She must be paired with spermicide to squash those swimmers before they reach your eggs! She’s made of latex or silicone, depending on which one you choose. In the US, you can choose between the Milex and the Caya (it’s a new one!). Your doctor needs to size you for the Milex and it’s treated as a prescription, but the Caya is one-size-fits-all and over-the-counter. 

Next up, the female condom! This awesome lady is made of polyurethane or nitrile – no latex! Just put a bit of spermicide on her closed end and stick her in your hoo-ha like a tampon. About an inch will stick out, kind of looking like you store your grocery bags in your vagina, so yeah, you’ll look funny. But hey! Hormone-free birth control! Plus, STI prevention. Have a ball!

Our third guest today is the sponge! She’s a pretty round thing made of white plastic foam, and filled to the brim with spermicide! She blocks sperm from reaching the uterus and continuously releases spermicide. She can last 24 hours and you can have as much sex as you’d like while you use her. Just push her in like a tampon and you’re good to go! 

Drum roll please, the cervical cap! She’s like a hat for your cervix, except instead of blocking the sun she’s blocking sperm, and you probably won’t wear her at the Kentucky Derby unless your ticket is for underneath the bleachers. Just slather on some spermicide, stick her in and this cutie is good for 48 hours – just enough time to take a break or two to actually watch the race!

And for those with a willy, we have the male condom! We have latex condoms, lubricated condoms, spermicide condoms, non-latex condoms, flavored condoms, ribbed condoms… Take your pick! Wrap it before you tap it, put a hat on your bat, no glove no love – use this fella and you’ll be protected from pregnancy and STI’s!

And for a more permanent fixture, like a chandelier in your uterus, we have the IUD. The Paragard is a hormone-free IUD. She’s made of plastic and copper, and can stick around for 12 years! That’s serious wife material. Once your doctor inserts her, you can forget about her (except for the occasional tug on her string to make sure she’s doing okay!). 

Hold on, folks, we have another! Spermicide! This girl comes in all shapes and sizes: creams, films, foams, gels, suppositories. She can be your main girl or a side chick – use her alone or with the cervical cap, the sponge, the diaphragm, or the condom! She doesn’t last long (like that guy from high school), so use her within the hour or she’ll turn into a pumpkin. Or a baby. 

Or you can abstain. That’s fun, too!

Images via Bedsider

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