Birth Control Without Hormones

07.9.12

A lot of women don’t want hormones in their birth control. There are as many reasons for not wanting the hormones as there are people. I just don’t see the need to alter my body’s already perfect chemistry when there are so many other options available. Some women are offered tremendous relief from things like the birth control pill for those of you who aren’t here’s a list of non hormonal birth control options.

Cervical Cap: There’s FemCap, it’s a latex free barrier to the cervix. Used with spermicide you’re looking at a 92% effectiveness rate.

Condoms: I know… this is so high school. The male condom can be irritating for everyone involved but if you are not monogamous they are an absolute must, and I know a few married couples who happily use them. There’s a female condom too but it doesn’t seem to be popular, I’ve never tried or seen one which leads me to believe that they might be cumbersome and unsexy.

Diaphragm: I think they talked about these in 6th grade sex ed but I honestly don’t know anyone from my generation who has ever used one. If you have used a diaphragm and have feedback leave it in the comments, go anonymous I won’t out you.

Film: The vaginal contraceptive film is a great one that no one seems to have heard of. This is the only brand I’ve ever seen. We used it in between kids and there were no accidents. It’s 94% effective when used properly (it’s easy to use but I wouldn’t suggest it for teen who might not be familiar with her body).

Intrauterine Device (IUD): Paragard has a small bit of copper that the doctor inserts into your uterus. It can stay there for up to 10 years. Cramps and bleeding can be horrible the first few months, but if you can bite the bullet (and it might not even be that bad for you) you’ll have up to 10 years of birth control that you never have to think of.

Spermicide: You’ll want to use this with some of the barrier methods for better birth control.

Sponge: It’s part barrier and part spermicide. Used correctly 1 in 10 women will get pregnant and accounting for user error the numbers go to 1 in 7. This might be a good choice if you think you might be open to being a parent.

You can always use the rhythm method or have the guy pull out but it’s reasonably likely that you’ll end up pregnant.

I know I’ve missed some options so please share what you know in the comments. If you leave a link it won’t show up immediately but don’t worry I’ll get in there and approve it soon.

 

 

 

 

The Diva Cup Review (Mom, Dad this is all about my menstruation please don’t read it)

03.3.11

See They come in sizesI gave in and tried the Diva Cup. After the pink tampon string incident I was walking through Whole Foods, spotted the Diva Cup, and thought, “Why not? It’s only $30, I’m going to waste more than that on snooty cheeses this week.” So I tossed one into my basket, and then I stopped and did a double take.

The size issue.

Apparently there are two sizes of vaginas, regular and mom sized. If you’ve given birth you’re a size large. I’m a fan of vanity sizing. If you take my size medium and toss an XS tag on it not only will I buy it, but I’ll buy one in every color and show all my friends my extra small sized clothing. I’m not proud of my behavior, it’s simply a reality.

I stood in the aisles at Whole Foods and started texting Tanis: Umm the Diva Cup comes in sizes. Do you think I could buy the small one even though I have kids? She texted back something about giving birth three times and then she might have mentioned a hot dog in a hallway. I sighed and bought the mom sized menstrual cup feeling defeated before I began.

A few days later it was time to try to the Diva Cup. I followed the directions and it was pretty easy to insert. I have yet to have an accident, and it’s become one of those things that I want to shout from the rooftops.

YOU NEED A DIVA CUP.

Periods are so civilized now. There’s nothing to throw away, nothing to hide from guests, nothing that leaks. There is no chance that your dog will come bounding down the hallway and joyfully present your UPS delivery guy with a used tampon.

Remember when I said that menstrual cups were disgusting and uncivilized? I was wrong. Very very wrong.

I had two big concerns: Vagina sizing and keeping my IUD (and therefore my sanity)

I know I keep coming back to this same issue, but the whole sizing thing really threw me for a loop. Diva Cup comes in two sizes, and I’m terrified to think that a third (larger size) could be on the horizon. Since it’s not a piece of cotton, but rather a piece of silcone I was worried that it might stretch things out (hence the panic about a pending size 3) so I emailed my friend Dr. Jason Rothbart (you might recognize him as the guy who had to fly all over the world to deliver Angelina Jolie’s babies) and he assured me that the Diva Cup wouldn’t stretch things out because of where it sat.

The IUD issue. All of the menstrual cups have an IUD warning on them. Again, after talking to Jason I understand that the Diva Cup sits lower in the canal than the IUD would reach so the risk of pulling it out is minimal (infinitesimal?), but it must have happened to someone, or maybe it came close to happening to someone and that’s why they have the warning? I’m about three month in to using the Diva Cup and (without being graphic) I can’t comprehend why there’s a warning. The two regions seem to be pretty far apart from one another.

I can’t begin to get into all the benefits of the cup. It’s cleaner, there’s no drying or irritation, I don’t have to shop for anything (not even pads there are no accidents), my family (and guests) don’t know if I’m menstruating, no leaking, it’s cheap…

I could go on and on, but I won’t.

I’m just a new convert, and I thought I’d share the good word with y’all.