Birth control prevents you from getting pregnant, and can also be used for gynecological problems like painful periods. However, some people find that regular-strength hormonal birth control comes with unwanted side effects.
Low- or no-hormone birth control options still give you the same protection, but cut back or eliminate the hormone dosage to reduce side effects.
At Longoria OBGYN, Dr. Leonardo Longoria prescribes birth control to new and existing patients living in and around El Paso, Texas, as part of our comprehensive women’s health services.
Could you benefit from switching to a hormone-free or low-hormone birth control? Here are just some of your options.
1. Low-dose combination birth control pills
Combination birth control pills contain both synthetic estrogen and synthetic progesterone (progestin). Both hormones prevent ovulation from being triggered each month, and progestin thickens your cervical mucus, making it more difficult for a released egg to be fertilized.
Used correctly, combination birth control pills are 99.7% effective for preventing pregnancy.
Many brands offer low-dose combination birth control pills, which contain 35 micrograms or less of estrogen. Dr. Longoria may prescribe products such as Apri®, Aviane®, Levlen 21®, Levora®, Lo/Ovral®, Ortho-Novum®, Yasmin®, or Yaz®.
2. Ultra-low-dose combination birth control pills
You can go one step further with the ultra-low-dose combination birth control pill Lo Loestrin Fe®. This birth control medication only contains only 10 micrograms of estrogen.
Talk to Dr. Longoria about whether low-dose or ultra-low-dose birth control is right for you.
3. Low-dose progestin-only birth control pills
Some low-hormone birth control pills contain only progestin. Sometimes known as a “mini pill,” this type of birth control is also 99.7% effective with correct use. However, you should make sure to always take your mini pill at the same time each day, or effectiveness decreases.
Mini pills can shorten the overall duration of your period. You might see side effects like spotting or bleeding between periods. These side effects typically improve after a few months of use.
Commonly available brands of low-dose progestin-only birth control include Camila®, Errin®, Heather®, Jolivette®, Micronor®, and Nora-BE®.
4. Nonhormonal IUD
There are several brands of hormonal IUDs, but the ParaGard® IUD doesn’t contain hormones. If you’re concerned about using synthetic hormones at all, even in low doses, this nonhormonal option might be the best choice for you.
Instead of using hormones to prevent pregnancy, the ParaGard IUD relies on the copper material it’s made of to act as a highly effective natural contraceptive.
5. Barrier methods
Some types of birth control serve as a barrier to prevent the sperm and egg from meeting. These no-hormone forms of birth control include male and female condoms, cervical caps, sponges, and diaphragms. These methods are often used along with spermicidals.
To learn more about all the low-hormone, ultra-low-hormone, and nonhormonal contraception options available to you through Longoria OBGYN, get in touch with Dr. Longoria today. Schedule your appointment online, or call now to book.