How many of you users do not use hormonal methods of birth control? It seems like all of my girlfriends are some sort of hormonal birth control. I have never had intercourse but my partner and I are considering need to avoid pregnancy. As for my lifestyle, I would like to try to avoid altering my body chemistry with any sort of hormone. I've read a lot of literature online and such about all of the methods, so I'm aware of most of them and their side effects. I just want to hear from some users who have always been hormone-free with their birth control. Specifically, I'm wondering about condoms, spermicide, sponge, etc. Does anyone use VCF with condoms? Any pregnancy scares? Do you use them religiously, alone or in conjunction? How likely is it for a condom to break?
Just so you do know, pregnancy alters the body chemically WAY more than any hormonal method can or does. As well, the hormones in hormonal methods are already in the body. What hormonal methods do isn't really adding hormones that aren't already there: rather, they alter the levels of those hormones. That doesn't mean we don't all get to have our own preferences, we do, just wanted to fill you in on those facts so you have the to make your choices with.
People can and do have pregnancy scares no matter what methods they're using, since no method is 100%. But if people want to be as close to that 100% as possible, they're probably going to either want to use a hormonal or long-term method or use dual contraception: use more than one method, whether one of them is hormonal or not.
I'm staff, not a user, but if you want personal anecdotes, I am someone who, save for a few years (1984ish - 1991, when I was using birth control pills both for contraception when I needed it and for menstrual issues), has almost always used hormonal methods when I had male partners save for very recently (my partner got a vasectomy).
For me, those methods were condoms, which I usually used for STI protection regardless, cervical barriers and/or natural family planning. back in the day when I was on the pill and the sponge was new, I tried that once, too. Typical of plenty of people, I had scares when using the pill and the other methods a few times. I also had accidental pregnancy happen both when using the pill and when using natural family planning (this was before emergency contraception). But again, pregnancy can happen with ANY method, especially if and when they're not used properly, so that's not that uncommon.
When used properly, condoms aren't at all likely to break. Breakage is very rare with proper use, which includes using extra lubricant, storing condoms properly and putting them on right. Condoms slipping off are a bit more common than breaks.
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 63686 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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