Non-hormonal methods of contraception

Fertility can be controlled without hormones.

These methods include:

  • physical barrier methods such as condoms and diaphragms, which prevent the sperm reaching an egg
  • intrauterine device (IUD) also known as a coil, prevent the implantation of an embryo or release of a hormone
  • spermicidal agents which kill or disable sperm
  • abstaining from intercourse when an egg may be in the oviduct
  • surgical methods of male and female sterilisation, an example is a vasectomy, where the sperm ducts are cut or tied

Benefits and risks

  • Condoms are easy and quick to use, but sometimes they can tear. They are also useful in preventing sexually transmitted disease.
  • Diaphragms need to be put in just before sex and left in several hours afterwards.
  • IUD need to be fitted by a health professional. IUD can remain in position for up to 10 years. However, there is a small risk of causing an ectopic pregnancy (where the embryo settles in a fallopian tube not the uterus).
  • Spermicidal agents can be added to other physical barriers such as condoms, but some people can have allergic reactions to these.
A visual to show the different types of non-hormonal methods of contraception