If your body does not react well to hormonal methods and you are not interested in using a copper IUD, there are other non-hormonal options available. Talk to your healthcare provider or visit www.sexandu.ca for more information.
Withdrawal (“Pull Out”)
Withdrawal, also known as the pull out method, requires removing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation.
The fluid (pre-cum) released prior to ejaculation contains thousands of sperm. Pre-cum can fertilize the egg, resulting in pregnancy and can also transmit an STI.
The withdrawal method requires a lot of self-control and is not very effective at preventing pregnancy. It is estimated that at least 22 out of 100 couples who use the withdrawal method as contraception will become pregnant within a year.
Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM)
Fertility awareness methods involve tracking the menstrual cycle to know when ovaries will release an egg every month (ovulation). The days near ovulation are the most fertile days and unprotected intercourse during this time is most likely to result in pregnancy. This method requires users to avoid sex or use another form of birth control (e.g., condoms) on fertile days. Temperature, cervical mucus, and calendar tracking can help FAM users identify which days they are ovulating.
FAMs require a lot of organization, tracking, and daily tasks to identify fertile days in the cycle, and self-control or preparedness during fertile days to avoid pregnancy. When used correctly, it is estimated that FAMs are around 76-88% effective at preventing pregnancy, and 12-24 couples out of 100 will get pregnant each year using these methods.