Given the recent unconscionable attack on women’s rights perpetrated by SCOTUS, birth control is more essential than ever. While women in Maryland are having their right to choose protected, it’s important that they know their options. Given hormone-based birth control’s impact on women who take it, non-hormonal options are available. If you’ve been avoiding non-barrier birth control due to these effects, it’s time to take another look. Being proactive about birth control is more important than ever in maintaining your lifestyle and taking control of your life.
Understanding Non-Hormonal Birth Control And How It Helps
For many years the non-barrier versions of birth control that were available relied on adjusting your hormone levels and menstrual cycle. This had many undesirable effects, including unpredictable cycles, weight gain, and some sexual impacts as well. Those that came in pill form required strict adherence to a pill-a-day schedule that could leave you vulnerable to pregnancy if you missed a pill. Non-hormonal forms come in many forms, each with its own pros and cons. However, they won’t have an impact on your hormone levels or cycle in any way.
- Diaphragm – A diaphragm is a special silicone cup that is inserted to prevent semen from entering the womb. As every woman’s cervix is a different size, these must be fitted by your doctor. The combination of diaphragms as spermicide can limit your risk of pregnancy to only 6%. It must be replaced every six months.
- Sponge – This is similar to the diaphragm in that it is inserted into the vagina prior to sexual intercourse. Unlike the diaphragm, it already contains spermicide and is capable of absorbing much of the semen. Consistent use of the sponge provides 91% protection against pregnancy.
- Copper IUD – This is a form of semi-permanent contraception that is implanted into your uterus. The copper it contains is toxic to sperm and prevents them from getting pregnant. While not as effective as hormone-based contraceptives, they do provide a 99% degree of protection.
- Spermicide – Spermicide is a chemical blend that comes in many forms. It is available in the form of a foam, gel, and suppository that’s inserted into the vagina. It is intended for use with a sponge or diaphragm, having only a 28% effectiveness when used alone.
- Sterilization – This is the only guaranteed choice for women who are certain they do not wish to live child-free, regardless of their age. Receiving a tubal ligation or having your male partners get a vasectomy is a guaranteed way to protect against pregnancy. They are nearly 100% effective, and vasectomies can be reversed in the future. While using barrier methods is still suggested as they do not prevent STDs, you can almost guarantee you never have to worry about getting pregnant.
These non-hormonal contraceptives can help you avoid the life-changing consequences of an unintentional pregnancy in a country that stands against women’s rights. We encourage women from every walk of life who are not yet ready, or do not intend, to start a family to immediately get on birth control. It’s the only sane choice until bodily autonomy and women’s right to be treated as human beings are restored on a national level.
Maryland Supports Your Right To Choose, But Stay Proactive
Women in Maryland are being protected by a law coming into effect on Friday, July 1st, 2022. We are thankful to be in a state that believes in protecting women’s rights. We stand with Maryland in ensuring that women retain the right to have options in family planning.