The 5 Best Types of Natural Birth Control

natural birth controlHad enough of the side effects of hormonal birth control?

You do have other options.

Here are my top 5 picks for the best methods of non-hormonal natural birth control.

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Fertility Awareness Methods

Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) works because, as a woman, you are fertile for only six days per cycle. To avoid pregnancy, you must simply determine which days you are fertile and then abstain from vaginal intercourse or use a barrier method. It’s surprisingly easy to do.

FAM is scientific because it uses the objective sign of body temperature, cervical fluid, or cervix changes (or all three). It’s different from the rhythm method which is an old style of FAM that relies solely on dates on a calendar.

The simplest type of fertility awareness method is the Daysy Fertility Monitor, which is a computer that measures your body temperature and does all the calculations for you. It’s a certified medical device that undergoes independent quality testing every year. It has undergone some controversy with regard to the most recent scientific study backing up its efficacy claim.

You can also do FAM manually on paper or with the assistance of an app. To do that, you’ll need to be trained in FAM. For more information, see Toni Weschler’s book Taking Charge of Your Fertility or Fertility Friday’s post 23 Fertility Awareness websites you should know about. (I recently met Lisa from Fertility Friday at our New York Hack Your Cycle event.)

Find a fertility awareness method educator at the Association of Fertility Awareness Professionals.

Condoms

Worldwide, male condoms are the most popular form of birth control, and it’s easy to understand why. Condoms are simple, effective, and protect against sexually transmitted disease.

If comfort is an issue, then please ask your partner to visit myONE Perfect Fit and find a condom that fits. You could also look at Hex Condoms which use a new hexagon technology for a more comfortable fit.

Caya diaphragm

Caya is a new one-size-fits-all diaphragm. It’s made of silicone rather than the latex of the old-style diaphragms and does not need to be fitted by your doctor.

You can buy Caya directly online or by prescription from your local pharmacist.

Femcap cervical cap

The cervical cap is similar to a diaphragm but smaller. It shaped like a little sailor’s cap and fits around your cervix.

Femcap comes in three different sizes and is used with a non-toxic gel. It’s available in some countries without a prescription, but in the U.S., it must be fitted and prescribed by a doctor. Visit Femcap.com.

Copper IUD

The good thing about the copper IUD is that it does not suppress ovulation or alter hormones. In that way, it’s different from the hormonal IUD which is not supposed to suppress ovulation but still does.

Some women love the copper IUD, and it has the highest rate of user satisfaction of any method. It’s also effective as emergency contraception.

Unfortunately, the copper IUD does have some downsides which I discuss in the blog post The Pros and Cons of the Copper IUD.

What is your experience with natural birth control?

Dr Lara Briden

When Period Pain Is Not Normal (It Could Be Endometriosis)

When period pain is endometriosisDo you suffer bad period pain?  You shouldn’t have to.

Period pain is common, so we tend to think it just goes with the territory of having periods. But “normal” period pain should not prevent you from going about your day. And “normal” period pain should disappear with the right diet and supplements.

Put it this way: If pain doesn’t disappear with simple treatments, then it’s not normal period pain. It’s strong period pain and could be a sign of an underlying medical condition like endometriosis or adenomyosis.

Read moreWhen Period Pain Is Not Normal (It Could Be Endometriosis)

Why Zinc Is My Favorite Prescription for Healthy Periods

zinc for hormonesLooking for a simple solution for period problems? Before you reach for a women’s supplement like chaste tree or maca or natural progesterone, consider the humble mineral zinc.

Zinc is effective treatment for acne, PCOS, period pain, and many other periods problems. It’s the supplement I prescribe most often for women’s health (second only to magnesium).

Read moreWhy Zinc Is My Favorite Prescription for Healthy Periods

The Right Way to Test Progesterone with Your Cycle

testing progesterone

The next time your doctor orders a progesterone test, stop a minute and ask: “When is the right day to do this test?”

If you have a longer cycle, you can expect to have almost no progesterone for the majority of the menstrual cycle–and that’s normal! You could even have no progesterone on day 21.

Here’s what need to know about progesterone testing.

Read moreThe Right Way to Test Progesterone with Your Cycle

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