19 answers

Seeking Low or Hormone-free Birth Control Options

I just had my 2nd child and am looking for a hormone free or low hormone birth control option. Before I became pregnant I was using the para-guard and was satisfied with it. I went to my 8 week appointment and I was going to try out the mirena just because I really didn't like the spotting I had with the para-guard. When I got to my appointment my ob-gyn tried putting the mirena in but it was extremely painful. Come to find out I have to much scar tissue from the 2 c-sections. Now I have to find a different form of birth control. I'm currently breast feeding so my ob-gyn put me on the mini pill. I don't know if my hormones are still trying to adjust but I fill like an emotional roller coaster. This is the first month that I've been on it but how I'm feeling right now is exactly why I don't want to do hormones when it comes to birth control. My ob-gyn suggested using the nuvaring but my insurance doesn't cover it and my pharmacist said the cost is $50. I can't afford $50 a month so I'm thinking I'll have to continue taking a pill. What low or hormone free birth control options do you moms use? I've thought of using the counting method but my husband is really reluctant to do that. I honestly don't like the emotional roller coaster I experience on the pill. Right now I think I'm done with having children but I'm not ready to do anything permenent just yet. Any ideas or suggestions are welcomed!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

There are condoms available called skin. They are a non-latex condom that more closely resemble the feel of skin, making them more comfortable to use. Any type of birth control that you use is going to have some type of side effect. The older you get the more these side effects will affect you. I had used the depo shot when I was younger with no problems. I have recently gone back on it, and now I have been having headaches, random spotting, and weight gain. The doctor said it was because I am older now. Good luck, I know this can be frusterating.

Stephanie L.

Honestly the best no hormone birth control is the latex sleeping bag! It sucks, but it is pretty effective. I don't know if you have tried the other brand of birth control, Yasmin. I have heard that it is a different hormone so it affects women differently. I don't know if they have a mini pill though.

More Answers

Another book for Natural Family Planning...or whatever it's called is Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. She calls it Fertility Awareness Method. I'm not sure if that what you mean by the counting method or not. If you mean Rhythm Method, it's not that.

after my first I didn't want to go back on any kind of hormonal birth control... it took us a solid year to get pregnant with her (and I was only 23 at the time!) and I blamed that partly on the hormones in the pill. We opted for condoms and spermicide, which worked well for us. I excpeted the hate the spermicide and I expected it to be really messy, but it wasn't. No yucky messy drippy clean up (well, no more than normal anyway). We even felt okay using it alone without condoms when it wasn't during the time I was (in theory) ovulating (we don't really like condoms much). The only this... you have to be diligent about it. I'm due with an unplanned baby #2 in 6 weeks becuase we skipped it for the sake of spontenaity once while on vacation in Europe. Oops... I think this time around at my postpartum visit I'm going to ask my doctor about a cervical cap or diaphragm to use with the spermicide instead of condoms. Good luck!

I have an 11 month old son that I am still nursing, and have been on the Depo-Provero shot since he was 6 weeks old. It lasts for three months, and takes about 15 minutes in the doctor's office for the injection. My insurance covers all but about $27.00 - not bad for three months of birth control!

I guess I don't understand why you are looking for a hormone free or low hormone option when all of the options you've mentioned except the minipill have as much homone in them as OrthoNovum. I used that particular pill when my second child was 4 months old with no problems. I would be cautious with the mini pill myself as I switched to that after 7 years of the other, on the advice of my doctor, and got pregnant right away. The only other options I see for you are natural family planning which works well if you are willing to put in the time and effort to do it right or condoms.

the mini-pill is progestin only-- a depressant. in my experience, there is no "adjusting" to it. the longer i was on it, the worse i became emotionally and mentally until i was suicidal. finally i had an "ah ha" moment and realized the mini-pill was the culprit. i started getting better immediately after i stopped it. i hate condoms, especially because after the second c-section i developed a latex allergy. but sex is an important part of marriage, so we pay the extra money for the lamb skin condoms so that i won't be in pain and i won't be a mess mentally. it's worth it!

I am with you on the needing no-hormone birth control. Pills, nuva ring, depo provera (a nightmare!) none of these worked for me. I tried the mini pill (progesterone only pill) which totally killed my sex drive (great birth control- I never wanted to have sex) Finally I got a cervical cap, which I love. It's like a diaphragm but more comfortable. And we use a condom when I am ovulating, just to be sure.

Looks like you've received a lot of good answers. I wasn't going to comment, but I noticed the first response mentioned Yasmin, or Yazz, or however you spell it. I just want to give my two sense about that: it made me a different person! I was angry, and my husband and I would fight all the time, and I was a wreck! And during all of this I would think to myself, "who is this person? What have I become?" then I realized it was the birth control. A friend of mine had the exact same response to it. I agree with you about going hormone free - everything I've tried makes me crazy. I don't really know all the techniques of counting, or things like that, but I would say that if your husband doesn't want a "crazy" wife (referring to how I am on bc), I would think that he does need to support you in whatever you feel is right for you! You are a mom and a wife, and you need your health and sanity to be the best you can be, and maybe if you talk to him about that, he will understand - really it's a small sacrifice for putting your health first (sure sex is great, but I wouldn't give up my well being for it) ;). I wish you all the best! And I hope you find something that works for you!

There are condoms available called skin. They are a non-latex condom that more closely resemble the feel of skin, making them more comfortable to use. Any type of birth control that you use is going to have some type of side effect. The older you get the more these side effects will affect you. I had used the depo shot when I was younger with no problems. I have recently gone back on it, and now I have been having headaches, random spotting, and weight gain. The doctor said it was because I am older now. Good luck, I know this can be frusterating.

Stephanie L.

Hi there,

I know you've received a ton of responses but I just wanted to second the Natural Family Planning Method. My husband and I use that, and during the time of my ovulation we use condoms.

I know so many women who have had problems with hormone methods of birth control, as well as cancer issues later in life due to Hormone based Birth Control. I've also learned through my biology major that it is in fact true that some forms of birth control do cause cancer as well as may in fact be abortive in nature verses preventitive (if that is an issue that concerns you).

As a side note, my husband and I have only had two children over a nine year period using the Natural Family Planning Method - so it does work if you are willing to take notice of what is happening with your body.

Best of luck in your search!

M.

Please check this book out of your library and give it a try. It is called "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler. She teaches the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM).
I assume this is similar to the other method in other responses (though I didn't read through all responses).
It is totally hormone free and really helps you to understand how your body works. We're all so different and I think it's no surprise to us that we don't all ovulate on day 14 and start a period on 28. This method teaches you how to understand the phases of your personal cycle.
It is helpful to not only prevent pregnancy, but to understand women's health in general. I'm sure you could find it at a library and even if you don't like or use the method, it doesn't hurt to read over it and see what you think. I think it is an awesome natural birth control method that really works.

First of all, I am shocked at the number of responses with inaccurate information regarding how hormonal birth control works. The overwhelming majority of birth control pills and other hormonal options are designed to prevent you from ovulating, not to prevent implantation. There are some emergency contraceptives out there that do that, but they are not prescribed as a regular solution.

I am using Implanon, which is a progesterone only, low dose birth control method that is basically a small plastic rod that is implanted in your arm. It lasts for 3 years, and is a $50 copay. It is perfectly safe to be on while breastfeeding. My son is 13 months old and I haven't had any supply issues from it. It can cause really bad spotting in some women though, so it may not be for you. You may also want to look into the Fertility Awareness Method, I used this for 6 months before trying to conceive our son and it worked wonderfully. It was very empowering. Using this method while breastfeeding can be tricky, however, and you may just want to use condoms for a while. Good luck!

Sorry that you had a bad experience with the paraguard- that's what I will be getting after I have my bebe. I also refuse to use hormones, (no thank you to being crazy lady 2wks/mo). The others I considered were going back to condoms and getting my tubes tied, as well as FA. I like the idea of fertility awareness because it's based on being aware of the fertility cycle of your body not stopping it with artificial hormones. But opted for IUD b/c don't want to deal with keeping track.
If you're done having kids for sure, maybe your hubby would be willing to learn about how a vasectemy works- (it's not that bad).

I've decided that I, too, cannot do the hormonal birth control options, and the IUD did not work for me (caused PAINFUL cramping each month). I use a combination of the Natural Family Planning method, which is as effective as the pill when used correctly, but when we don't want to abstain in the time period you're supposed to, we use condoms. There's a book, The Art of Natural Family Planning, that talks you through every part of your cycle and signs to look for. It was really quite fascinating, really, to learn about the cervical mucous and why it is different throughout the month, and the other signs that I'd never paid attention to that are signals my body is ready to get pregnant again. I feel more respectful of my body doing things this way, even though I really hate condoms. I'm more in tune with my body and my mind because I'm not trying to trick it into not doing something it's supposed to do every month. Good luck!

I second what Heather W. recommends -- find out about Natural Family Planning. It is a very scientifically-based method, not just a "counting method," so your husband should not worry that it will be based on guesswork. It is as effective as any Pill when learned correctly and used correctly. It is the only thing my husband and I have used for almost 13 years, both to avoid and achieve pregnancy. It is extremely empowering to learn about your own body and how it works! Plus, it provides true freedom because you won't have to subject your body to any more hormones or devices. I hope you will give it a try...

I think your best options are the cervical cap or the diaphragm. I am currently pregnant, and we will be using one of those after baby is born. We are going to do that primarily because I cannot in good conscience use a hormonal form of birth control, because they often prevent implantation of a fertilized egg--so barrier methods are usually best. I also used the pill for a couple months for cycle regulation before I got married, and reacted terribly to it. I don't think those artificial hormones are good for our bodies. Good luck--there aren't that many choices out there. Oh--one more OTC option is the sponge, if you would rather try that.

My ex-girlfriend used the nuva ring and my current one uses an IUD and both methods work great for each girl respectively. I think it's trial and error with birth control. I hear so many horror stories about birth control and what the pills and shots do. The sponge is heavily endorsed also. Are condoms an option? If you are down to only hurting yourself emotionally, maybe your husband should take the plunge for a bit. It's his sex life too and he should help out. Both the nuva ring and IUD have hormones, but not very many I believe. The IUD is very expensive to have put in, but lasts 5 years. Neither of these interfered with either of our pleasure during sex no matter what we were doing or where we were. Incidentally, the cramping you experience with an IUD is commensurate with your normal cramping. It is not caused by the IUD. Good luck!!! Peace, S.

I would also like to support the Natural Family Planning method. It is based on your body's naturally occurring fertility signs and is in no way the counting method. You can go to www.ccli.org for more information and to enroll in a class. My husband and I have been using it for 7 years now. We have used it both to avoid pregnancy and to achieve pregnancy (two times and both planned). Even if you didn't have the emotional reaction to the birth control pill, I would recommend staying away from it. The hormones have been shown to cause cancer as well as other medical issues. Also, when you get in tune with your body from making daily observations, you get to know you body better. Then if a problem arises, your fertility signs may change, alerting you to a problem with your health. However, if you are on hormone birth control, it may mask the problem. I say the more natural the better. Plus, while most of the hormone birth control options are meant to prevent conception, sometimes is does occur. So the hormones are meant to prevent both conception and implantation. Besides, if conception is not supposed to occur with birth control, how does the unplanned pregnancy occur?

For those of you who use condoms during your fertile time, I'd like to make a suggestion. If you are in a time of postponing pregnancy, consider abstaining. This can be a powerful experience. There are other ways of being close to each other during this time. Then when the abstaining time (or fertile time) is over and you engage in marital relations, it makes that time so much more special. Even if this is not for you, I applaud you for staying away from putting chemicals into your body.

I use the Camilla pill (it's also called Nora BE some places). I started taking it 6 weeks post partum and have been on it for just over a year now. My doctor said it was the only one she would recommend while I was breastfeeding. I don't feel hormonal at all and havene't had any weight issues while on it. I get mine at Walgreens (it's Nora BE there) and it's $34.99 a month. your insurance might cover it. Good luck in finding something that works for you!

Honestly the best no hormone birth control is the latex sleeping bag! It sucks, but it is pretty effective. I don't know if you have tried the other brand of birth control, Yasmin. I have heard that it is a different hormone so it affects women differently. I don't know if they have a mini pill though.

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