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 devices (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 and tied.
Benefits and risks
- Condoms are easy and quick to use, but sometimes they can tear or rip.
- Diaphragms need to be put in just before sex and left in several hours afterwards.
- IUDs need to be fitted by a health professional. They can remain in position for up to 10 years. However, there is a small risk of them causing an ectopic pregnancy.
- Spermicidal agents can be added to other physical barriers such as condoms, but some people can have allergic reactions to these.
- Abstaining can be used successfully, but if the timings are not accurate the chance of pregnancy is high.
- Surgical methods cannot be reversed, and are considered permanent.