There are also a number of methods of birth control without hormones. These can therefore be used while breastfeeding. We will discuss the two most commonly chosen methods here:
The condom is the best known form of barrier method as contraception. It is a thin rubber sleeve that traps sperm before they enter the vagina or womb. Before penetration during sex the condom is placed over the penis. After ejaculation the penetration should be ended and the condom removed.
The condom is the only contraceptive method that not only protects you against pregnancy, but also against STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). You do not need a prescription for condoms. They are available at drugstores, most supermarkets and can be ordered online. There are no hormones involved when using a condom.
Condoms are somewhat less reliable than hormonal contraception, the reliability strongly depends on the correct use. For example, a condom can tear during intercourse. In general, you can rely condoms of an approved brand. A disadvantage can be, you have to interrupt intercourse to place the condom.
Copper Intra Uterine Device (I.U.D.)
The copper I.U.D. is a plastic device in the shape of a “T” or horseshoe with a copper wire wrapped around it. The copper IUD is placed into your uterus through the vagina. A copper-containing I.U.D. protects against pregnancy for 5 to 10 years. The copper inactivates the sperm cells so fertilization of the egg cell is prevented. The copper IUD also works as a “morning after I.U.D” when placed within 5 days after an unprotected intercourse, as the fertilized egg cell cannot nest in the womb.
Since the copper-containing IUD is a hormone-free method, you maintain your own natural menstrual cycle. However, the first periods may come a bit earlier than usual, be more painful or last a little longer. After 2 or 3 months, your menstrual cycle will usually return to the pattern you had before the placement of the IUD. The course of your menstrual cycle has no effect on the reliability of the copper IUD. It is good to know that with the copper IUD you cannot skip, shift or delay your period.