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Can somebody please talk an idiot through all the possible NON hormonal methods of contraception please?

(37 Posts)
fuzzpig Mon 26-May-14 18:44:40

Getting a bit sick of condoms basically, would prefer being a bit more spontaneous grin

But, having numerous physical and mental health problems, anything hormonal is ruled out basically.

So... what other possibilities are there? Any experiences would be most welcome. thanks

ilovepowerhoop Mon 26-May-14 18:48:37

copper coil or diaphragm if you dont want to use condoms

fuzzpig Mon 26-May-14 21:22:49

Thanks, I don't really know much about them. Is the copper coil different from the mirena coil? I have to admit the thought of the procedure puts me off (I needed diazepam to get through a smear test FFS sad) but worth considering.

I only even considered switching as I was reading a book in which the main character uses a diaphragm as birth control grin I'd always thought it was a bit icky when we learned about it in school, but I will find out more about that too. I guess you still can't always be spontaneous but would be worth it as it would feel better than with condoms.

spottydolphin Mon 26-May-14 21:24:06


fuzzpig Mon 26-May-14 21:30:21

Nope not ready for that! Would like another DC but not right now.

LumionaMoonsplash Mon 26-May-14 21:31:07

I'm in the same situation but its condoms for us for now. I've had the pill, depo and mirena and I hated what they did to me, so until he gets the snip its condoms. Though I do keep freaking out when I see the condom failure threads though.

littleseahorse Mon 26-May-14 21:35:22

I asked about a diaphram once and gp said they did not do them anymore.

I used natural family planning (I know I will get shouted down for this) which was the sympto-thermal method. This works on charting fertility symptoms and temperature. There is a book and website called Take Charge of Your Fertility. You do need to observe the rules for abstaining very strictly, though, and be rigorous in charting.

As I say, I expect to be shouted down on this, but I didn't want hormonal contraceptives or anything invasive and I found it useful. I am not in a relationship at the moment, and looking back, it seems a big faff. But it was kind of fun at the time, and great to know just where I was in my cycle. Now I don't have a clue.

ilovepowerhoop Mon 26-May-14 21:35:55

yes, the copper coil has no hormones whereas the mirena does.

beatingwings Mon 26-May-14 21:43:26

I have a diaphram- theye are brilliant, so certainly still made. I pop it in every night after brushing my teeth. Some nights it is needed, others not. You don't need to stop and fumble.

fuzzpig Mon 26-May-14 21:43:46

I'm pretty confident with condoms - it's all we've ever used apart from when TTC (which was first cycle each time - so come to think of it we've really only had about 18 months in total of condom free sex. Hmmph) a mishap wouldn't be a total disaster although not ideal right now.

DH did offer to have the snip a while ago, but I'm really glad I put him off as I'm hideously broody now, which I really wasn't expecting to feel again! But for various reasons we couldn't TTC now so need something in the meantime.

Interesting about NFP. I am fairly aware of my cycle but not sure I could be arsed to chart!

I asked about a diaphram once and gp said they did not do them anymore. really?! Oh darn. I guess they are not as reliable.

fuzzpig Mon 26-May-14 21:44:42

Oh xpost. Can you, erm, feel it? Or more to the point, can DH? grin

beatingwings Mon 26-May-14 21:48:57

No, I can't feel it at all when in place, neither can OH.

LexieSinclair Mon 26-May-14 22:08:46

I have a copper coil and I think it's brilliant. I have no side effects whatsoever, and it lasts 10 years so I don't even have to think about it.

MrsDiesel Mon 26-May-14 22:15:18

I have a 10 year copper coil and get along with it fine.

Having it put in was easier than a smear but I had some slight cramps afterwards.

I could feel the strings for awhile after which was a little uncomfortable but it soon settled.

I am happy to know I don't have to worry for a long time and don't have to remember anything or do anything.

littleseahorse Mon 26-May-14 22:15:50

Yes, sorry I was not clear. They makes diaphragms but my GP said they do not fit them anymore as they are not as reliable as other, more modern methods.

NFP, the charting was fairly simple as there was an online programme you just entered in the info. I did it for several years, but gave up when breastfeeding a (planned!) baby who woke every hour. The software adjusted if you took your temp too early or too late, but you were supposed to have three hours of unbroken sleep before doing so.

goodasitgets Wed 28-May-14 01:12:57

I have no DC and have a copper coil fitted, the fitting was absolutely fine. I did go to a family planning clinic where the woman was amazing, used local anaesthetic gel and said she fitted them all day long
Have also used persona (natural family planning monitor). Used for 18 months with no problems

xalyssx Wed 28-May-14 01:36:51

I use these sponges in lieu of a diaphragm.

claraschu Wed 28-May-14 02:27:47

I used to use a cervical cap, which worked well, but I don't think the NHS prescribe them (I was in the US). I think there is a paternalistic view that people can't be trusted to use barrier methods consistently and effectively, but I knew I could trust myself.

I would never want to take hormones, and think it is a crying shame that they are pushed on people, their side effects minimised, and condoms the only alternative offered.

WillieWaggledagger Wed 28-May-14 05:21:53

I have a copper coil (hormonal contraception has so far made me depressed) and I get on with it fine, though my periods are heavier than before and slightly more painful. I had quite light periods before so that's not too much of a problem, but if yours are very heavy already then you might think twice. The insertion was uncomfortable but not unbearable, but I haven't had children - if you have had a vaginal delivery it's possible that you might feel very little at all (though if you have difficulties with smears then be aware the process is similar and takes slightly longer).

LettertoHerms Wed 28-May-14 05:30:04

I won't use hormonal contraception anymore, and DP and I are in the "not ideal timing but would be fine if a pregnancy happened" camp, so we use a combination of condoms/withdrawal/NFP. I use an app to track my cycles, we use condoms for all the "risky" days and withdrawal on the safest days.

To be fair, we haven't done this long, just a few months on each side of the long time I was on the pill, so I can't say with authority it's a good method, but it seems logical for us.

meditrina Wed 28-May-14 07:02:54

With 'typical' (rather than 'perfect') use, the diaphragm is slightly more reliable than condoms, an both are considerably more reliable than the sponge.

NFP reliability depends on which methods you use: a sympto-thermal combined with calendar method is best (calendar alone, least reliable).

fuzzpig Tue 03-Jun-14 12:59:18

I've got my appt in a couple of hours, with a GP at my local surgery who specialises in family planning. Mainly going to ask about the diaphragm but will see if she suggests anything else - however I think I have accepted that I'm limited to barrier methods as anything else creeps me out blush

Lottapianos Tue 03-Jun-14 13:07:49

Very interesting thread. I have no children and not planning any. I would love to come off hormones. I'm currently on the pill and I've recently started to have a very light bleed half way through my pack. It's a pain. I think you need nerves of steel to use condoms only and that's definitely not me! I had Mirena, it was wonderful for 3 years then I started having a bit of bleeding and cramping.

Copper coil sounds like an option although I have always had rwally heavy painful periods. I really wish they would sort out a pill for men to take so hormonal contraception could be shared fairly!

Lottapianos Tue 03-Jun-14 13:08:44

And good luck fuzzpig

fuzzpig Tue 03-Jun-14 16:49:56

Thanks, it was a mixed result really. She looked quite surprised when I asked about the diaphragm and said they don't do them here. But she is going to ask another GP (also a FP specialist) if she fits them (does that mean they'll put it in for you?!?) and also suggested I ask at the FP clinic at the hospital in town.

She also explained a lot more about the copper coil. It doesn't sound so scary, although I'd be concerned about the possibility of heavier periods. I am also worried about DH being able to feel it (though I didn't mention this). As it's a 10yr thing I might consider that for a few years down the line, after baby #3 if we have one (a girl can dream). She went through the procedure in detail and it doesn't sound so terrible, although I'd definitely need a sedative like for the smear test.

She was nice though and didn't seem remotely fussed when I said I didn't want to try any hormonal method (unlike other HCPs who have looked at me like I have two heads hmm)

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