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. IUD can remain in position for up to 10 years. However, there is a small risk of 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 is considered permanent.
A visual to show the different types of non-hormonal methods of contraception