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Birth Control


I want to get off birth control pills but I need an alternative treatment that does not require ingesting chemicals and artificial hormones into my body... does anyone use any other method that is effective?



  • Well, counting days works, but you have to be very accurate. I wonder if using ovulation strips that are normally used when you are trying to get pregnant, could be used the other way around, so you would know exactly when you were ovulating.

    There is a joke: "what do you call a girl that uses the rhythm method?" "pregnant"

  • Look into Copper IUDs. They are hormone free, and one of the most reliable forms of birth control. I have had one for 6 months now and the difference it has made to my life is huge. I had many side effects from HBC and they have all stopped. The one difference I have is that my period pain is slightly stronger and my period lasts for 6 days instead of 5. Obviously results would be different with diferent people, but it is the best BC I have used.

  • Not to make light of a sensitive subject.....but a few of us share a private joke at work. This guy 'John' who sits in the cubicle next to me is always yelling at his terribly misbehaved kids on the phone. From what I gather, they sound like little uncontrollable monsters who are always in detention or getting expelled. I can't even count how many eyebrow-raising moments I've had listening to some of the horror stories............I always say that sitting next to 'John' has been the best form of birth control ever.....I'm almost 40 and we have no kids ;-)

  • I saw this book posted on another GR thread and it really intrigued me.

    I have not gotten it yet, but I thought I would pass the title along...

    "Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control,

    Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health" by Toni Weschler.

    The following was part of the book description...

    Fertility awareness is therefore useful for not only couples who are trying to conceive, but for those who are aiming to avoid pregnancy without the use of chemical contraceptives.

  • edited October 16

    "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" is one of the best natural birth control or pregnancy achievement books in my opinion. You can use it either way - to achieve pregnancy or to avoid pregnancy. It's all about understanding how your body works. It's really easy too. You take your temperature each morning before you get out of bed. This is called your "basal body temp" and is the temperature of your body in an idle state.

    The thing is, when your body ovulates, your temperature naturally rises due to the hormones produced. This rise in temperature stays high for a few days. During those days, you would either have sex (to achieve pregnancy) or use protection and/or abstinence (to avoid pregnancy). You also learn other signs to watch for, it's absolutely amazing how many signals your body gives you that go completely unnoticed!

    Anyway, I used it to avoid pregnancy and found that I have a rare ovulation pattern which keeps my cycles short, around 28 days, and I also learned that increased stress or improper eating extends my cycles (to around 30-32 days). There's nothing more liberating than understanding your own system - so I recommend the book whether you're trying to get pregnant or trying to avoid it!! Good luck :)



  • Hello!

    This is always a tough one. I have had great success with a copper IUD. My Naturopath strongly suggested it to me and it was an excellent suggestion. It's not cheap upfront, but in the long run, it pays for itself. I am very pleased with it and am so glad to be off of the pill. Good luck!

  • you cant get a copper iud unless youve had at least one child- or at least they shouldnt give you one if you havent. Your uterus will be too small to put it in.

    My coworker had the copper iud- it became dislodged during sex and ripped apart her uterus. Shes basically been bleeding for the last two months now and had various infections. Know that it is not uncommon for those things to become dislodged like that, which is something shes found out the hard way. After hearing that- ill stick with condoms.

  • http://www.ladycomputer.com/ladycomp_en.htm

    High precision family planning. In my experience, family planning is not a good way to stay "without child." I'm never going that route again. It's condoms or the lady comp for me in the future.

  • Eek. That's a really scary story, wichten, but I do have to say- you can have a copper iud put in without having a kid first- I did, and I also had it done on a day when I didn't have my period (you're supposed to wait till you do, apparently it's easier and less painful)- It did hurt, but I haven't had any problems with it (and I know that for sure, because I've just had an ultrasound to make sure it's in the proper place). So it can be done, it's just not recommended.

  • My friend who hasn't had a child has a copper IUD as well.

  • condoms?

  • condoms..

  • Can anyone with a copper IUD tell me if they have experienced any weight gain or abdominal bloating? I understand there would be no hormonal weight gain but I am curious if there is any weight gain or loss with copper Iud?

  • what about a diaphragm?

  • I'd be interested to try the self-monitoring version of birth control- but I'm just nervous about it because I've heard stories of people getting pregnant while having sex during their period... I don't think we'd use male condoms, but they have female condoms, right? And a diaphragm, I suppose, although I've never tried it. But the pill I think has really negative effects on my emotional balance and I just don't want to take them anymore... So a copper IUD is something you have implanted? Sounds kinda scary. How long do you have to leave it in? Has anyone else had prolonged success with their own fertility awareness (temp, etc.)? I think that would also be useful for me as you can use basal temperature to monitor thyroid function. Thanks for all the posts!

  • An IUD is inserted through your cervix and into your uterus, where it stays for up to 5 years (Mirena) or 10 years (Paraguard.) As long as that little baby is happily nested away in your uterus, your chances of pregnancy are virtually nill. I have the Mirena, the copper + hormone IUD and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It has minimal amounts of hormones and it is slightly more effective than the copper alone (same effectiveness as a vasectomy.) However, if you wanted to go hormone-free, a copper IUD (Paraguard) is a nice option - especially if you are at all interested in having kids in the future, as an IUD is reversible and you can get pregnant almost immediately after having it removed.

    You CAN get one inserted without having had a child first, and while you're slightly more likely to expel it (have it come out by itself) if you haven't been pregnant, and while an IUD can increase your chances of an infection if you are exposed to an STD, it is actually *very unusual* to have any significant damage (i.e. perforation of the uterus) from an IUD. If you are regularly checking the strings to make sure that it is not expelling during the first few months of having an IUD, there shouldn't be any problems during sexual intercourse - I mean, the thing was obviously designed to be in there during sex, otherwise what would be the point? I can only imagine that for wichten's friend, the IUD was already expelling, and that's why there were problems.

    I've had mine for three years and have had no difficulties with it at all. I will note that I was somewhat obsessive with checking the strings for the first several months, but since then, I have had no concerns - and that's a great feeling. :-)

    Here is just one site about the Paraguard: http://contraception.about.com/od/iud/a/paragard.htm

    Before I got mine, I also did a lot of reading on: http://community.livejournal.com/iud_divas/

    There are risks with any birth control method (except abstinence, obviously), but I've found an IUD to be a wonderful option. Just like anything involving your body, do some research and then make the decision that is right for YOU.

  • Kleine,

    I have recently had a copper IUD (after giving birth to a lovely little girl). I haven't experienced any bloating or other effects. In fact, I cannot tell it is there at all. And, getting it was painless. I hear I may have gotten off easy there, though!

  • Anything that messes up with your cycle will end up hurting you, you can be sure of that, one of the reason so many women have problems getting pregnant these days are all the pregnancy controls pills&hormones, my advice is either condoms, or the rhyme method.

  • Female condoms don't work too well. In my opinion. Messy and gross. The only time I ever used one, it slipped all over the place and kind of ruined it for the both of us.

  • I vote for condoms as the most natural contraceptive available (considering the ones that work, that is). If you are considering any other method as it is mentioned above, please read about and inform yourself before deciding (I guess that's what you are doing now, right?) . On the other hand, if you have a moral problem with abortion, you shold know that many non-hormone based methods are abortive, menaing that they prevent implantation, but not fertilization. just my two cents.

  • I think doing the whole temperature or rhythm thing would suck. I'm married and pretty much like doing it alot and if we had the urge but couldn't it would be a bummer.

    I'm on the pill right now because of the pain from my endometriosis but now am considering the diaphragm and dealing with my problems naturally. Still thinking about it though because I'm scared it will go back to what it was before and that was hell.

  • There are natural ways of avioding pregnancy, but they take work. The counting method is one way. Unfortunately, this method sometimes may not work for women who experience irregular cycles. It is more effective if your cylces are regular and normal. Many women have irregular cycles due to stress, poor diet and hormonal changes. I would just eat prpoerly and get good amounts of excercise and rest if you plan on using this method.

    There is also another method not widely known. There is a way men could reach orgasm and not ejaculate. Any man should be able to do this with lots of patience and practice. This method was practiced in ancient times before condoms and birth control pills existed and proves to be pretty effective it it is mastered and used correctly. Here is a link below for more info:


  • "NEEM" pills are used in other contries as birth control.

  • I've researched and I'd like to try the Leah's Shield. You insert it, and it can stay in you for 24 hours. Your partner can't feel it if it's inserted correctly, and isn't likely to dislodge during intercourse.

    What's up with these people suggesting condoms?! Don't you know men don't FEEL as much as they'd like to? As long as your partner isn't infected or isn't switching partners, try looking out for your man as well!

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    chattanoog~ In response to your comment about using a condom and "try looking out for your man as well!", I find the "looking out for your man" gives an all to common negative message to women... sacrifice yourself for your man. I'm not sure you will be able to "hear" this comment so I think my comment is more directed to young people who might be reading this site and others who might feel that it is the woman's "job" to take on potentially life threatening means in order to "take care of one's man."

    A woman's health and comfort is extremely important to "look out" for, as well, in considering birth control/disease prevention. One's (for both partners involved) contraception choice entails many factors and one needs to choose one's "right" choice, an individual choice based on knowledge not out of a sense of "duty" or guilt.

    Implanting foreign objects (including IUD's, under the skin implants, patches, etc.) into/on a woman's body that contains chemicals and substances that are NOT healthy for the woman and that can cause debilitating consequences is something to consider. Ingesting horse or synthetic hormones ("the pill) has its side effects such as increasing the potential for a stroke and other potentially detrimental health/sickness related side effects. Female barrier devices have their potential failings when not used properly and other potential negative reactions. And then there is using no protection at all... pregnancy and its potential health risks and lifestyle implications as well as the spread of diseases.

    All forms (and not using any form) of "protection" have pros and cons. Make an intelligent, knowledgeable choice that also considers the risks/comfort for BOTH parties involved, not just the male's.

    ok... stepping off soap box now...

  • Yep, any man would be lucky to be with me, regardless if I choose or he chooses to use a condom or not. He's lucky to be feeling any lovemaking at all, and if he tried to state otherwise, I'd be out the door.

    For the record, I think sex feels better without a condom, so I do FEEL more (don't really care about any random man's opinion on the matter) without it, but that doesn't mean I'm going to forego a birth control method or making wise decisions just based on feeling. There are other objects that won't impregnate you that can be used in and around your vaginal area.

  • Bluedolfin--I can understand how you took my words to have a negative affect on others, and for that I'm sorry and apologize first hand. I was writing as if I were speaking to adults; and being a married woman, I've come to the decision to use other birth control methods instead of condoms because they are less pleasing to my husband. I wasn't thinking as I should and thought it was "common sense" that diseases are out there. There are certainly impressionable ladies out there who would take what I said as an excuse to have unprotected sex---(even though the context is birth control)--and for that I sincerely apologize.

  • It feels WAY better to ME also without a condom, but we all have to make sacrifices. I am not married, so I will take no chances with pregnancy or disease. So I am on the pill AND I insist on a condom. lol.

    I don't like that I have been taking these hormones all my life. But IUD? I am kinda freaked out having that in me all the time. And I KNOW I would be OCD about checking that string.

    And the story of the ripped apart uterus has scared me further. My pills are covered by my insurance. Is the IUD?

  • For me condoms used to feel too rubbery, but my partner and I now use "thinner" condoms and they feel MUCH better. Not to mention you don't have to do anything to prepare, or worry, he slaps it on and we're good to go! No hormones, no implants. There's a lot more unhealthier things out there than condoms..

    Most guys are more visual anyways, just make sure the lights are on and bright and it won't matter haha.

    I'd like to look more into the Copper IUD, but it kind of scares me about increased cramping (and bleeding). Could it scratch the inside walls? Would I want my partner to get something like this done if he could? Hmm...

    I wouldn't even go near the self monitoring system. I need something close to 100% and to spend my thoughts and energy elsewhere.

    I wonder if there are any other options?

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    chattanoog~ That is a generous post. There IS a HUGE disease issue out there.

    However, the main point that I'm expressing (that you might be missing) is that additionally, there is an even GREATER issue of women being told all sorts of negative things that erode women's self image/esteem and perpetuate minimization of the value of women. The main issue with your post that I have is when you say by using a condom, a woman is not "looking out for your man." Many women "feel they have to" do things they are uncomfortable with (physically and/or emotionally) in addition to putting themselves at risk in the name of "looking out for your man"... another way of saying this is is it the "job" of a woman to "please" your man without regards for herself?.... what? so he doesn't go away or cheat on you? This goes for married and unmarried women.

    Which ever method one chooses, it is a very personal and sometimes, very difficult choice. Women, for the most part, do not have many choices that do not carry major health risk.

    I'm asking you to consider how your statement perpetuates that myth. Women DO have the right to care for themselves. AND men do need to care for women also! For me, in a situation of major health risks -vs- my pleasure, health has a greater priority. I would not want to impose/demand or even suggest a health risk to my partner for MY greater "pleasure."

    This is not a one way street. In the ideal situation, both parties are caring for each other and an intelligent solution is created that works for both people rather then settling on a solution that is born out of a myth... a win-win solution. If a person is not in that sort of relationship, consider finding one.

    I hope this post is clearer on the point I was making...

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