I’ve been coming across a lot of posts by people expressing frustration about there not being any alternatives to hormonal contraception, condoms or permanent sterilization with a lot of panic about the overturning of roe v Wade. So I thought I’d offer some solutions that I’ve used over the two decades I’ve been sexually active. Sorry this is so long but there’s a lot of information that I wanted to be thorough about.
I’m a 38 year old female. I got the copper IUD in 2020 and it is by far the best contraception I’ve tried. I’ve been through ten different birth controls and everyone of them was a nightmare. This one has been the only one that has worked for me. Placement was painful but not having to worry about pregnancy for the next twelve years makes it worth it. It is nearly as effective as tubal ligation and it is reversible, minimally invasive and non hormonal. I’ve heard horror stories about placement so I won’t lie that it is a cakewalk. I had some cramping for months but nothing too intolerable. Flow is the same. YMMV. You can try it and if you don’t like it, it can be removed with no permanent damage.
I tried natural family planning in 2014. I got pregnant within weeks of trying it and had to get an abortion so I strongly advise against it without a backup method. The last day of my cycle I had sex that month was day 6 so I probably ovulated too early or my partner has super sperm that stuck around longer than expected. According to NFP, fertilization can’t occur the week before and during your period if you stop at day 5 of your cycle just to be safe and you use it with a backup method.
I also recommend the diaphragm or cervical cap . The spermicide phexxi is available with prescription which is better for vaginal health than the nonoxynol that can cause yeast infections. Or you can order contragel from Europe which is similar to phexxi but don’t need a prescription. Some people use honey and lemon juice but there are no studies on how effective it is. So use at your own risk. Considering phexxi and contragel use ph altering chemicals like lactic acid, the citric acid in lemon juice would work in the same way.
Though I have used these devices, my partner did not trust them after the NFP fuck up and insisted on his tried and true withdrawal method. Paired with the withdrawal method during ovulation, female barrier methods should be pretty effective. Withdrawal itself is actually surprisingly almost as effective as condoms with perfect use effectiveness of 96% when done correctly each and everytime. Meaning jacking off anywhere that isn’t in, on or near the vagina each and everytime. Not waiting until ejaculation and then pulling out. Even doing anal has to risk of semen getting inside the vagina due to their proximity. Condoms are 98% with perfect use but only 82% with typical use. The risk goes up every year that it’s used with a near-guarantee of pregnancy within five years which is why I never depended on them for contraception. With withdrawal, I have more confidence in evaluating if my partner is doing it correctly and use plan b during rare mishaps. Plus condoms suck. Female barrier methods have similar rates to condoms but paired with withdrawal during the ovulation window should be much more effective.
I used withdrawal for years and never got pregnant on it by any of the multiple partners I’ve used it with using no other backup methods. If I ever came across a douchebag who didn’t do it right or nutted in me without my permission, I’d get some plan b and never fuck them again. I’d take plan b on occasions when things got too heated and careless. If you choose to use these non hormonal methods, I strongly advise to have plan b on hand. Don’t wait to buy it when a mistake has already been made. Especially with the possibility of it being banned in some states. Just be extremely careful not to get semen anywhere in, on or near the vagina, especially during the ovulation window. Using spermicide or spermicide and diaphragm/cervical cap will improve the effectiveness of withdrawal. The awesome thing about diaphragms is you can use them to have sex during your period. Pairing NFP with withdrawal during the ovulation window and using a diaphragm/cervical cap/spermicide throughout your cycle should be as effective as hormonal contraception.
I used hormonal contraception for maybe five years of the twenty years I’ve been sexually active and when I did, I often had zero libido and so it was pointless to be on it. I’ve only had one pregnancy in twenty years that I aborted at ten weeks.
Hope this helps anyone who might be interested.
Edit: as a commenter noted, Plan B is significantly less effective if you weigh more than 155 lb+ and must be taken with three to five days. The longer you wait, the less likely it is too work.