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