When it comes to types of contraception, there is a vast amount of information out there to consider. The best female contraception method completely depends on your body and your needs; and luckily, here in the U.K, there are many different types that are readily available to choose from. These options vary from lubricated condoms, such as Durex Naturals Condoms, through to hormonal contraceptives, like the pill.
So, whether you are looking for more information around the types of female contraception, or you’re trying to decide between the comfort and ease of condoms vs. something maybe more long term, we answer all your questions in our female contraception guide.
How does female contraception work?
Female contraception can work in different ways depending on the type of female contraception you opt for.
Hormonal contraceptives, such as the combined pill or the vaginal ring, contain hormones that work to prevent pregnancy. They usually do this by stopping the body from ovulating, but there are other ways they prevent pregnancy. The combined pill, for example, makes it harder for sperm to reach and fertilise an egg by thickening the mucus in the neck of the womb.
Non-hormonal contraceptives work differently to those that contain hormones, but still work to prevent pregnancy. For example, the female condom acts as a barrier method of contraception, that is worn inside the vagina to stop sperm from reaching an egg.
What are the different types of female contraception?
When it comes to forms of female contraception, there are many options to choose from, meaning that you can find a suitable solution for your body’s needs. Different types of contraception work in different ways and to different levels of effectiveness. From permanent contraception to non-hormonal contraception, here are some of the most common ones:
- Male condoms (98% effective if used correctly)
- Female condoms (95% effective if used correctly)
- Sterilisation (Natural family planning/fertility awareness if followed correctly, up to 99% effective)
- Vaginal ring or pill (99% effective if used correctly)
Condoms as female contraception
One of the most effective methods of contraception is the condom – and it’s not just men that can wear them! There are female condoms available too, which can be inserted into the vagina before sex.
For those looking for a non-hormonal form of contraception that can both provide protection against STIs and prevention of pregnancy, condoms could be the simple solution.
There are also male condoms available that have been designed with the woman in mind. Durex Naturals condoms are coated with a water-based lubricant, that is made from 98% natural origin ingredients, making this type of condom an ideal contraceptive method when looking for non-hormonal options.
Always read the pack instructions
Permanent female contraception
For whatever reason, you may be looking into your options of permanent female contraception.
Female sterilisation is a form of permanent female contraception that prevents eggs from travelling down the fallopian tubes, ultimately blocking sperm from meeting the egg. Fallopian tubes can be blocked by a minor surgery and can be done in different ways, such as:
- Clip application
- Ring application
- Tying, cutting, or removing a small piece of the tube
If for whatever reason the “blocking” of the fallopian tubes does not work, the tubes can be removed completely.
As sterilisation is a difficult procedure to reverse, this permanent type of contraception should only be considered by those who have already had children or do not wish to have children at all.
Temporary female contraception
Temporary female contraception is a popular option, as there are many different options that can suit a variety of needs.
One example of this is the Vaginal Ring. The Vaginal Ring is placed inside the vagina and gradually releases oestrogen and progestogen into the bloodstream which prevents the release of an egg. This type of contraception is placed in the vagina for 21 days, then removed for a 7-day break.
Other methods of temporary female contraception include the pill. There are different varieties of the pill, one being the combined pill. Like the Vaginal Ring, this is something you would take for 21 days and then have a break to allow yourself to have a period. If you opt for something like the pill, you must remember to take it every day and in the proper manner.
These types of contraception contain hormones that may cause other side effects, so make sure to always discuss with your GP or another health professional before deciding to choose hormonal contraception. And, while these methods prevent pregnancy, they do not protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), meaning that you may still need to use a condom during intercourse.
Other Non-hormonal female contraception
There are of course other ways to protect yourself without using hormonal methods.
One non-hormonal female contraception is “fertility awareness”. You can make an appointment with your GP to discuss this further, and there are plenty of period tracking apps that you can download to help track your periods and fertility.
According to the NHS, there are three fertility signals to monitor and record to keep track of your fertility. These are:
- The length of your menstrual cycle
- Daily readings of your body temperature
- Changes to your cervical secretions
By tracking your cycle, you can get an idea of when you are most likely to conceive, meaning you can naturally protect yourself from pregnancy and have sex at times when you’re less likely to be ovulating.
Of course, this is a great option for those who are looking to protect themselves from pregnancy naturally. But this option does not protect you from STIs, meaning that condoms would still need to be worn.
Looking for more advice when it comes to the world of sex? We discuss all in our Explore Sex blog. Got more questions when it comes to the world of condoms? Check out Condoms Buying Guide or shop the condom range now.