There are various ways to prevent pregnancy. Both men and women can use contraceptives like male condoms, birth control pills, and more. However, female contraception is more common. Approximately 851 million women worldwide have used modern contraception in the last few years.
For instance, women used intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUDs) for many years. Research shows that IUDs can be traced back to 1962, with the creation of the Lippes Loop. However, recent studies have proven IUD fragmentation as an issue that can cause uterine complications.
While this affects only 1-2% of women, it is not unheard of. In this blog, we will discuss the best alternatives to IUDs and more.
The Story of Paragard’s Non-Hormonal IUDs
Non-hormonal or copper IUDs can prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years without disrupting your hormones. Paragard is the only FDA-approved company selling this product in America. Hence, millions of women have used this contraceptive method since 1988.
However, in 2021, over 3000 women complained about complications due to a fragmented Paragard IUD. This device broke into pieces upon removal. Hence, some women had to undergo risky surgeries like hysterectomies, laparotomies, hysteroscopies, and laparoscopies. These invasive surgeries allowed the doctors to remove the broken IUD pieces lodged in the uterus.
Other Paragard users developed severe infections and extreme pain due to manufacturing defects. As a result, these women filed a Paragard lawsuit. As of August 2023, 2094 lawsuits are pending at the Georgia federal court against Paragard. The plaintiffs claim manufacturers failed to warn them of these defects and health risks.
According to TorHoerman Law, the legal industry estimates a payout between USD 10,000 and USD 400,000. However, the amount will depend on the extent of the injuries. Anyone who experienced an IUD breakage during removal can file this claim.
Women should stay away from Paragard IUDs. Drugwatch states that broken copper IUD pieces can get lodged in a woman’s organs. In some cases, doctors cannot remove these pieces from the body as it can cause perforation, leading to infertility.
3 Types of Non-Hormonal Female Contraception
Hormonal birth control implants and pills affect a woman’s health. These are reliable but not convenient for prolonged usage. Some oral contraceptives can also lead to cancer. Similarly, non-hormonal IUDs are not safe.
That is why women should use the following non-hormonal contraceptives:
#1. Female Condoms
It is a loose-fitting, soft sheath with flexible rings at both ends. It works as a male condom by barricading the sperm from the eggs. You must insert a new female condom every time before intercourse.
During ejaculation, the internal ring holds the sperm. Moreover, the external ring keeps the condom in place. This contraceptive also protects you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Most women believe that this is the best alternative to IUDs.
#2. Vaginal Gel
A vaginal contraceptive gel maintains the vagina’s pH level. As a result, the vaginal pH does not allow the sperm to move through the uterus. You should apply it to your genitals at least one hour before intercourse.
Ideally, it has 86% effectiveness. However, you might be allergic to the gel, leading to irritation and infections. If this happens, you should immediately wash it off and visit a doctor.
It is a silicone cup with a saucer-like shape, custom-made by a doctor. Once fitted, it must be inserted inside the vagina every time before intercourse to block semen from entering the womb. Moreover, you have to leave it in for at least 8 hours post-intercourse.
On top of that, spermicide is required after intercourse to increase the chance of avoiding pregnancy. A diaphragm is reusable for up to 12 months. But it won’t protect you from STDs.
Are There Any Non-Invasive Methods for Birth Control?
Other than barrier methods, there are surgical contraceptive methods called sterilization. This surgery is called tubal ligation, which blocks a woman’s fallopian tube. Doing so prevents the egg from entering the uterus.
Even though sterilization has a 100% success rate, it has surgical complications. Women can get infections and internal bleeding. What if you don’t want to use surgical or barrier methods? In that case, non-invasive options like behavioral methods can help.
Outercourse and withdrawal methods can help you prevent an unwanted pregnancy. During outercourse, the man’s penis does not penetrate the vaginal walls. Similarly, the withdrawal method requires a man to pull out before ejaculating.
However, the withdrawal method is not reliable. Other than that, the family planning method can also be helpful. In this method, you must track your menstrual cycle to skip unprotected intercourse during fertile days.
These non-invasive contraception methods are free and easy to perform. Moreover, these are safer than using an IUD or getting sterilized.
Read Also: The Best Traditional Indian Jewellery
The Bottom Line
According to BusinessWire, the FDA warned Paragard for inadequately highlighting the potential risks in their ads. Anna Speaks from rural America used Paragard IUDs after her son’s birth. She thought it would be a low-maintenance and low-fuss method.
However, upon hearing about the health risks, she decided to remove it. Instantly, her T-shaped IUD broke, and a few pieces were still inside her uterus. She eventually had to undergo expensive surgery to remove the fragments.
That is why women should rely on non-invasive or other non-hormonal methods of contraception.