This blog post is all about the different forms and methods of birth control. Personally as a health coach and from personal experience, no women should go on hormonal birth control. However, depending on your circumstances, hormonal birth control is the only option.
Therefore, I wanted to take the opportunity to give you run down on all forms of birth control. This will give you the full picture of how birth control can influence your mind and body. I want to only educate you on the best form for you and your goals. As always, please speak to your physician about going or going off birth control.
What is Birth control?
Contraceptives are used to prevent pregnancy. However, not all forms prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. Most contraceptives are marketed towards women, but there are forms for men too.
what are the types of hormonally birth control?
This type of contraceptive is the most commonly prescribed to women. Hormonal birth control includes the following:
- Intrauterine Device (IUD)
- Oral Contraceptive via Pill
- Depo Shot
- Vaginal Ring
- Birth Control Patch
This form of the contraceptive can get from your physician and is usually covered by health insurance. There forms that are non-hormonal that are covered too!
What are the types of Non-hormonal birth control?
If you are looking for a more holistic approach, these are the methods for you. The following are all non-hormonal:
- Copper IUD
- Male Condoms
- Female Condoms
- Fertility Awareness Method (FAM)
- Fertility Trackers
- Internal Condom
- Spermicide Cream
- Pullout Method
- Cerivical Cap
Some more extreme methods would be abstinence, vasectomy, or sterilization. The last two are permanent. What most people combine both hormonal and non-hormonal methods. For example, would be the women on oral contraceptive and the male use a condom.
For more information on both forms of contraceptive, I recommend heading to Planned Parenthood and doing your own research on which one appeals to you.
what are the side effects of hormonal contraceptives?
I want to be completely transparent on the side effects of these contraceptives. When going to the physician, they often state that it isn’t 100% preventative, your body could reject it, and so on. The side effects vary based on the type you choose.
However, I do want to discuss with you what long-term side effects that can occur. This is especially important if you are trying to heal as it could be preventing you from doing so. Here are the most common side effects:
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
- Autoimmune Conditions (such as Hashimoto’s)
- Gut Dysbiosis (such as the leaky gut, SIBO)
- Chronic Inflammation
- Dysruption of normal hormonal fluctuations
- Damage to the Uterus (most common with the IUD)
- Increase risk of cancer (breast, cervical, uterine, and liver)
- Decrease in testosterone
- B vitamin Deficiency
- Selenium and Zinc Deficiency
Once you are off of these forms of contraceptives, it can take up to 6-months to a couple of years to get your body back to a natural rhythm. Post-birth control syndrome and/or hypothalamic amenorrhea are common conditions women face as well.
what are the side effects of non-hormonal contraceptives?
Unlike the hormonal versions, there are not as many side effects! This is why many practitioners and coaches prefer women in these forms. The biggest concerns are they are not 100% effective. This is especially valid for the use of condoms, withdraw, and so on.
As for the fertility awareness method, it is a long process to understand your unique body. This method takes into consideration your basal body temperature and cervical fluid. You can use any basal body thermometer and your temperature must be taken right after you wake up. I personally use and love the Daysy.
This method can help you estimate and predict your fertile window. Each month there are only a few days in which women can get pregnant. However, if you have unprotected sex, the sperm can live in your body for up to 5-days. I highly recommend the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility to dive deeper into this topic.
I truly hope this post helps you decide what form of birth control works best for you. In my professional option and personal experience, no one should be on hormonal contraceptives. The side effects are not worth it, however, I cannot tell you want to do.
If you would like to learn more about your menstrual cycle it can help you to understand your body more. Thank youu so much for reading and please share this with the women in your life!