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Contraception Without The Hormones

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Contraception Without The Hormones

Dr. Christiane Northrup
Dr. Christiane Northrup More by this author
Jul 31, 2014 at 08:00 AM 9 comments

I would like to share with you my answer to a question I received recently regarding contraception. Here is the question:

"Dear Dr. Northrup, I’m wondering what I should do about contraception. I’m 32 and want to start a family in a few years. I don’t want to take synthetic hormones, so I don’t want to take the pill. What is your advice?" -Joanie

Below is my reply:

Dear Joanie,

I completely understand your desire to stay away from the synthetic hormones that comprise the birth control pill. Although many women think this is their only choice, there are many other options that ob/gyn’s rarely mention. The reason for this is that 50% of pregnancies in the U.S. are unwanted and unplanned. And the pill remains one of the easiest and most mindless ways to prevent pregnancy.

Here’s the rub—you’re taking a synthetic hormone soup into your body 24/7 to prevent something that can happen only once a month. So—here’s what you must ask yourself: Am I willing to truly tune into and honor my fertility? Am I willing to really learn about, and then share this knowledge with my partner?

You see fertility is not a disease. But it does require awareness. Most women don’t know this but the fertility awareness method of natural birth control has the same effectiveness as the pill—if used properly. And that last clause is the key.

“If used properly” means that you can’t have intercourse that “just happens.” You have to be conscious and conscientious. You need to know when you are fertile. And when you are, engage in pleasurable sex without intercourse.

Barrier methods such as condoms and diaphragms can also be safely used. The IUD is making a comeback. And it’s very effective for those in monogamous relationships.

If you are truly committed to learning about your fertility cycles, I highly recommend Toni Weschler’s wonderful work on the subject. You can learn more in her book Taking Charge of Your Fertility or at her website:

Good luck, and thank you for this wonderful question!

Christiane Northrup, M.D.


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