Let’s talk about SEX … Now that we have your attention, here is what you need to know when it comes to our sexual health. Let’s deep dive into 13 types of female contraception to help you enjoy the pleasure of sex – while still protecting yourself. There are many different types of female contraception and thank goodness because each of us have unique needs, partners, desires and bodies.
To unpack the science for a minute … a majority of contraceptives work because:
- They prevent the egg from being released (hormonal)
- They prevent sperm from getting to the egg (barrier and some IUD methods)
- The block our reproductive functions – for men and women (sterilization)
- They prevent a fertilized egg from implanting into the uterus (hormonal)
- The risk of contracting STI and STDs is very high
1) The Pill
The pill consistently ranks as the most common type of female contraception. It was was FDA approved for contraceptive use in 1960. Five years after the pill was approved, over 6.5 million women were using it.
This made it the most popular form of birth control in its day and still, the pill remains the most common form of birth control and has a 21% usage rate.* (*https://www.statista.com/statistics/658675/contraceptive-use-in-europe-by-type/)
The pill prevents pregnancy in approximately 95% of cases and the effectiveness increases if you take it at the same time every day. There are two types of pills. The first option combines both estrogen and progestin. The second option is a progestin only pill.
We suggest speaking to your provider to find the best option for your body. Every woman responds to hormones differently and sometimes based on your history, it’s best not to be on hormones. One can order their pills online today for as little as £14.00 from Microgynon.
Spend time to figure out what is best for your body because it has been proven that more than half of all women on the pill are also on anti depressants due to the mood changes that the pill can cause.
Don’t worry ladies – you have more options coming your way!
2) The Condom
Guys – this one is for you … until now … LUWI is here to be your condom replacement.
Along with the pill, this is a close contender for the most popular form of contraception with a 16% usage rate. There are several benefits to a condom including ease of use, ease of purchase, accessibility, affordability and protection against STIs and STDs.
Condoms are usually made of latex, but if you are allergic to latex, polyurethane and lambskin options are available. LUWI is made of a thin polyurethane medical grade material that transfers heat unlike standard condoms. It is important to note that lambskin condoms do not protect against STIs and STDs unlike LUWI which gives you greater protection.
3) The Diaphragm
A Diaphragm is another form of female contraception that is placed inside the vagina. It prevents sperm from getting into the uterus. It does not protect against STIs or STD’s.
A prescription is necessary and a doctor will show you how to use it. In addition, if you are with a male partner, spermicide must be applied to the diaphragm before each sexual encounter. This is essential to increase its effectiveness. A diaphragm can be inserted six hours before sex and needs to be removed after 24 hours. Most diaphragms may be used again after a proper cleansing.
4) The Cervical Cap (aka: Femcap)
The cervical cap or Femcap is a thimble-shaped latex cup – basically like a diaphragm but smaller. The cervical cap must remain in the vagina at least 6 hours after sex, but must be removed within 48 hours after sex. It also needs to be used with spermicide.
Some women are prone to bladder infections with diaphragms and cervical caps though. Its effectiveness is slightly lower than other products and ranges from 92 – 95%. The cervical cap does not protect against STIs or STD’s.
5) The Intrauterine Device (IUD)
The IUD (an acronym for intrauterine device) is also becoming an increasingly popular form of female contraception. Most IUDs are effective for 3 – 10 years. They must be inserted by a medical professional and once they are nothing else needs to be done. It’s perfect for the person who has trouble remembering to take a pill every day.
The effectiveness rate is 99%, but it does not protect against STIs or STD’s. You must have a prescription and consult your healthcare provider about this form of female contraceptive to understand the side effects since IUD’s are either made of copper or contain hormones in order to be effective at preventing the sperm from reaching an egg.
6) The Implant
This contains progestin (progesterone) and is the same hormone that is in the non-estrogen birth control pills. The implant is inserted in the arm by your healthcare provider and must be removed after three years. The implant has an effectiveness rate of 99% and does not protect against STIs and STD’s.
Did you know the root word “cide” literally translates “to kill”? Although spermicide doesn’t actually kill sperm, it works by preventing sperm from swimming and reaching the egg and therefore, preventing pregnancy.
Spermicide can be used solo or combined with other forms of female contraception. For example, you can add spermicide to a condom for bonus pregnancy protection. Spermicide doesn’t protect against STIs or STDs.