Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Nonhormonal Birth Control

Lindsey Metrus
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Aside from preventing pregnancy for women not ready to start a family, hormonal birth control pills have their upsides: acne prevention, ovarian and breast cyst prevention, protection against iron deficiency, and reduction in PMS symptoms (bye, crippling cramps), to name a few. But with these advantages also come unwanted side effects such as irregular bleeding, minor nausea or breast pain, bloating, headaches, and decreased libido. Sigh, it's tough to be a woman.

Ingesting hormones isn't your only option, though: There are plenty of nonhormonal birth control methods that circumvent painful and potentially threatening side effects while still helping to prevent pregnancy (and in some cases, STDs). Keep scrolling to learn more.

Nonhormonal birth control isn't just for those who fear side effects: It also serves as a "backup" for regular methods to even better protect against disease and/or pregnancy (like using a condom in conjunction with your regular birth control pill). Women who take birth control as a means to decrease PMS symptoms or treat acne (aka not as a contraceptive) may also choose to take nonhormonal birth control to avoid affecting the body's natural hormones and menstrual cycle. And for women who are using birth control to prevent pregnancy, they may choose nonhormonal birth control because of medical contraindications.

So which form is right for you? We encourage you to always speak with a doctor to inform your decision, but below are the different nonhormonal birth control methods to study up on before your next visit.

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