5 Safer Birth Control Options

Looking to avoid hormonal birth control? Learn about 5 safer birth control options that you may want to look into without the harmful side effects.

Before I talk about the negative effects of birth control pills and safer birth control options, I want to state that I’m not against hormonal birth control in general. However, I do think women need to be educated and informed about the side effects of going on any kind of contraceptive thoroughly before making a decision, which isn’t the case many times. Please consult with your doctor or medical professional before making any changes to your health regime or medication.

Safer Birth Control Options

As a woman in the modern world, one of the biggest decisions we make is regarding out birth control. Will you take the pill? Stick with condoms? The patch? Or maybe the implant? There are so many choices these days that it’s hard to know what the best option is, especially when there are so many stories about the negative side effects of some of these options.

Why I Avoid Hormonal Birth Control

If you want to know the details about my experience, as well as some of the negative effects of hormonal birth control, you can read my post here. To sum it up, I lost my period after going off of birth control and it took years for me to finally get my cycle back.

Also, during the time that I was taking the pill was when my digestive issues and food sensitivities started. I know there are other factors that may have contributed to this, but this is a common symptom of the pill, due to yeast overgrowth and estrogen dominance.

There are also nutrient deficiencies that may occur, reduction in your chance of pregnancy for when you do want to have a baby, increase in inflammation, and more. To learn more about some of the other negative effects and what your body may go through, check out my previous post about this topic.

Safer Birth Control Options

So what are some safer birth control options? These may not be as convenient and “easy” as taking the pill, but I think they are 100% worth the extra effort for your health now and in the future.


Oh, the good ol’ condom. Is it annoying? Yes. Is it effective? Hell yes. They are cheap, easy to use, and most protect against STDs. I suggest using male condoms rather than female, because female condoms do not have as high of a success rate (79%, while it’s 98% for the latter).

If you are easily irritated by latex condoms or you just want to try ones with less harmful chemicals, there are better alternatives on the market that you might want to check out:

Safer Birth Control Options

  • Sustain Lubricated Latex Condoms: Sustain makes ultra thin latex condoms that are fair trade certified, paraben free, vegan, and free of nitrosomine, carcinogens found in most latex condoms. It also doesn’t smell like latex and many women who are irritated by other latex condoms find that they don’t have issues with these.
  • Lifestyles SKYN Condoms: These are latex free condoms made with polyisoprene, which provides a more natural and more sensitive look and feel than latex condoms.
  • TROJAN NaturaLamb Condoms: These condoms are made with lamb intestines, so you may need some time to get used to that idea and the scent. These are great for monogamous couples, because they do not prevent against STDs. Many couples swear by these because they are extremely thin and provide ultrasensitivity.

Diaphragm with Spermicide

Also called a cervical cap, a diaphragm is a mini cup made out of silicone placed inside the vagina to cover the cervix. There are no hormones involved and it act as a physical barrier to prevent the sperm from entering the uterus.

You do want to use it with spermicide (kills the sperm) to make it the most effective and you do have to insert it with the spermicide every time you have sex, so this may not be the most convenient option. However, if you do decide to try it out, I’ve heard great things about Caya Contoured Diaphragm.

Copper IUD

Unlike hormonal IUDs, copper IUDs do not contain any hormones and are very effective. They are also convenient because once inserted, they can stay in the uterus for up to 10 years. They do have a chance of slipping out, especially during sex, but they have a 99% success rate.

The only caution with copper IUDs is that your PMS symptoms may worsen, such as cramping and bleeding, and there’s a risk of copper overload or toxicity.

One way to reduce this chance of copper toxicity is to supplement with some zinc (I recommend this brand), because zinc and copper balance each other out in the body. Too much zinc causes copper insufficiency, and vice versa, so supplementing with zinc helps the body keep a healthy ratio of these minerals if you decide on the copper IUD for your preferred form of birth control.

Natural Family Planning (NFP)

My favorite form of birth control (or pregnancy planning), and the one that I follow, is natural family planning. It’s most appropriate for committed couples in monogamous relationships because it doesn’t protect against STDs. However, it’s the most natural and noninvasive form of birth control because it works by listening to your body’s natural cycle and rhythms.

Safer Birth Control Options

What exactly is it? It’s a way to monitor the fertile and infertile phases of your body during the cycle to time out when to get intimate with your partner. This works for both avoiding pregnancy, as well as if you are trying to conceive.

You can do this by tracking it on your own with a calendar, but there are so many awesome apps that do it for you! My favorite is the Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker, and not only does it track your period and let you know when you are fertile and not fertile, you can also track your PMS symptoms to have it tell you why you are going through those symptoms. I highly recommend it.

Low Dose Hormonal Birth Control

Finally, if you do not want to part with your pills and don’t want to bother with the inconvenience of other safer methods, you may want to explore low dose hormonal birth control options.

Safer Birth Control Options

Low dose pills are still as effective in preventing pregnancy as regular pills, with fewer risks involved when it comes to the negative long-term side effects. However, the downside of low dose pills is that you may experience spotting in between periods and breakthrough bleeding.

There are many options on the market when it comes to low dose, or even ultra-low dose birth control pills. I suggest you talk to your doctor to discuss these options and find out what may be the most appropriate for you.

Do What Works and Feels Best For You

No matter which option you go with, make sure to choose a birth control method that you are completely comfortable with. Take time to fully learn the side effects of each, the pros and cons, as well as what’s important to you in terms of safety, convenience, and ease.

It really saddens me that most women have a limited understanding of how hormonal birth control can affect their health, so it’s important to do your homework to educate yourself because we can’t always rely on our doctors to do this for us. Your health is YOUR responsibility so it’s important to take the time to learn what foreign substances are entering your body.

I hope the breakdown of these safer birth control methods help you gain a better understanding of these options and explore each one a bit more on your own. If you have any questions or if you have any more to add to this list, comment below! I am always open to talk about safer birth control and women’s health, and we shouldn’t be ashamed to discuss the normal things that our bodies go through.

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14 thoughts on “5 Safer Birth Control Options

  1. Emily @ Recipes to Nourish

    This is such a helpful and informative post!!! Thank you so much for putting so much thought and time into this. I wish I had known more about this at a younger age. I wish I had not taken birth control as it was pushed on me at such a long age by my past health care provider. SO grateful I learned how bad it is in my 20’s and stopped taking that stuff. Huge high five for spreading the word about safer options!!!

  2. Georgie

    I never lasted longer than a couple of months on the pill when I was younger – it made super sick and it took me a couple of years after coming off it to feel normal again. Every month I felt like I was pregnant, it was awful and my doctor was adamant that the pill couldn’t be causing the problem. I’m so glad that you’ve brought this topic up because I know it’s still sadly a little taboo. I’m now in the middle of having some hormonal problems and my doctor asked if I was on birth control when I said no she just said “okay not a problem!” and that was it! In the past doctors would try their hardest to get me to take them. I’m hopeful that times are changing.

    1. Jean Choi Post author

      Thanks so much for sharing your story, Georgie! I can’t believe how doctors push drugs constantly without knowing all the side effects themselves. I really do hope things have changed since then.

  3. Cristina

    Super important info! I thnk the overuse of hormonal birth control contributes to many of the chronic illnesses that plague most women today. I’ve been using NFP and it’s been amazing to track and learn about my cycle.

  4. Taesha Butler (The Natural Nurturer)

    I wish I had had all this info when I was younger. I was on the pill for years and years and will NEVER go back on traditional BC. Thank you for sharing all of this important knowledge so that women can make healthier and more informed choices about their bodies and family planning.

    1. Jean Choi Post author

      Me too! I’m so curious how different my health would if I hadn’t taken birth control.


    Great article! I had such issues with all the BC pills I tried when I was younger and stopped using it altogether in my 30’s. But even now in my 50’s with some peri-menopause symptoms for the last 8 years, I still have my monthly cycle (it will not leave without a fight). It is great to have the different safer options to compare. Wish I had known this when I was younger.

    1. Jean Choi Post author

      Thanks so much for sharing, Stacey! I so wish I knew sooner as well. It affected my hormonal health so much.


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