Ask Professor Foxy: I Don’t Like Hormonal Birth Control, What Are My Options?

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Dear Professor Foxy,
I don’t like hormonal types of birth control such as the Pill, the ring, or Depo-Provera. Even Mirena is proving to mess with my system too much, so I am having mine removed. But my husband is not a fan of condoms, and after years of not having to use them he’s not exactly chomping at the bit to wrap it up again. We are a committed, monogamous couple so STD protection is not really the issue – we just want to minimize our chances of any unexpected little bundles of joy. He may get a vasectomy in the future, but until then is there a form of birth control we can both be happy with?
Sign me,
Hitched & Horny

Hello Hitched & Horny,
On the fiftieth anniversary of the pill, it seems oddly fitting to write about non-hormonal options. Keep in mind that none of these protect against STDs, so they need to be used in situations where there is next to no chance of catching an STD. Also, I am not a healthcare provider and you should talk over these options with a provider as many of them require a prescription.
You actually have several good options. Mirena (an interuterine device (IUD)) actually releases hormones, but there is actually an IUD (Para-Gard) that does not contain hormones and may be a better option.
If you don’t want an IUD, there are other possible methods though none are as effective as hormonal methods or an IUD. There is great chart from Planned Parenthood that lays this all out. You can also click from this chart to all of the methods I discuss below.
A diaphragm or cervical cap would be my next recommendation. You have to be comfortable inserting it insider yourself and making sure it is placed correctly. In addition, they can make some funky noises during penetration, but that can provide a lovely giggle. You can also use these with spermicide to provide another layer of protection.
Speaking of which, how are you with different kinds of spermicide? Does it irritate you or your partner? The sponge is another good option. No prescription needed, but again you have to be comfortable inserting it. The sponge is back on the market after inspring one of the best Seinfeld episodes ever.
Talk these possibilities over with a trusted healthcare provider and your partner and see which one works best for you. Good luck!
Professor Foxy
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