What Are The Benefits Of Nonhormonal Birth Control?
Most women will agree that having a menstrual cycle and oscillating hormones certainly keeps things interesting. Trying to understand the rhyme and reason behind our hormones is nothing short of cracking code. And realistically, most of us don't choose to learn more about our hormones until stubborn symptoms show up.
As it turns out, hormonal imbalances are pretty common: 47% of women have dealt with them at some point (though many likely go unreported). Imbalances can present themselves through a variety of symptoms—from acne to fatigue to digestive problems and irregular periods.
Hormonal birth control: A history of limited options.
For decades now, hormonal birth control has been the most common form of birth control and the go-to for helping women "fix" hormonal imbalances. Classic hormonal birth control like the pill, or certain IUDs, utilizes synthetic hormones to stop or reduce ovulation, thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg, or thin cervical lining to make a fertilized egg less likely to attach. These hormones signal our body to behave in a way it may not otherwise.
But for many women, hormonal birth control may not be the best option. Several groups of women may not be good candidates for hormonal birth control—including those with high blood pressure, breast cancer, heart disease, severe diabetes, liver disease, a history of blood clots, or a history of stroke. Plus, women who are seeking nonhormonal options, but are allergic to latex, find themselves left with very few options.
Enter: Nonhormonal birth control.
Hormonal contraception, like the pill, has long been the norm for contraception. But innovations in nonhormonal birth control present promising possibilities for women who are simply ready to experience life and sexuality without the influence of synthetic hormones. Phexxi® (lactic acid, citric acid, and potassium bitartrate—1.8%, 1%, 0.4%) vaginal gel is a hormone-free prescription vaginal birth control gel that may be a good option for women looking for hormone-free contraception.
But how does Phexxi birth control work? Is it as effective? We get it, you have questions. And we have answers!
Tell me more about Phexxi.
Phexxi, a nonhormonal vaginal gel inserted into the vagina up to one hour before each act of sex, doesn't meddle with our body's natural hormones. Instead, it helps to maintain the normal acidic environment in the vagina during sex, which lowers sperm mobility and thus the chance of sperm reaching the egg. (And don't worry: It's designed to stay in the vagina during sex.) Phexxi comes in a 4-inch applicator, which you insert similarly to a tampon. Before each act of sex, simply insert the gel, and it's effective immediately.
A diagnosis of breast cancer brought Phexxi into focus for Samantha Harris—Emmy-winning TV host, certified health coach, and bestselling author of Your Healthiest Healthy.
"I took steps to overhaul how I lived—in order to live 'my healthiest healthy' life possible—by being mindful of what I put in and around my body. Part of that meant reducing additional hormones in not only the foods I consumed but also products I used in my personal care routine—and that included contraception," she recalls. "Finding Phexxi allowed me to still have a vibrant life with my incredible husband of more than 17 years."
Life with nonhormonal birth control.
After the pill, or certain IUDs, it takes a bit of time for synthetic hormones to clear our system. This is not the case with Phexxi, which is an easily reversible birth control option that can keep your plans for the future on schedule.
Phexxi is 93% effective at preventing pregnancy when used as directed. With typical use, which accounts for potential mistakes such as forgetting to use Phexxi up to one hour before each act of sex, Phexxi was 86% effective in the clinical trial.
With Phexxi, you only have to use it when the mood strikes, or up to an hour before each act of sex, and it is effective immediately. This gives women the flexibility to use birth control only when they need it, never when they don't. A revolution in birth control? We think so, too.
More than ever, as women, we're coming back to the importance of our menstrual cycles and harnessing our hormones. They're kind of our superpower. Like a skinny dip or a nature walk, it feels good to be in touch with our cycles, governed by the natural fluctuations of our hormones.
Phexxi® is an on-demand method of birth control used to prevent pregnancy. Phexxi is not effective when used after sex.
Important Safety Information
Rare cases (0.36%) of bladder and kidney infections have been reported. If you have a history of urinary tract problems that keep coming back, you should not use Phexxi.
Contact your health care provider if you are experiencing genitourinary side effects such as vaginal burning, itching, discharge, genital discomfort (including in male partners), yeast infection, urinary tract infection, or bacterial vaginosis.
Phexxi does not protect against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
For more information about Phexxi, talk to your health care provider and see full Product Information at www.phexxi.com.
Please report side effects by contacting Evofem Biosciences® toll-free at 1-833-EVFMBIO or contact FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Phexxi and the Phexxi logo are registered trademarks of Evofem Biosciences, Inc.
Trademarks, registered or otherwise, are the property of their respective owner(s).
© 2021 Evofem Biosciences, Inc.
Intended for United States residents only.
Devon Barrow is a Branded Content Editor at mindbodygreen. She received her degree from the University of Colorado. When she's away from her desk, Devon is teaching yoga, writing poetry, meditating, and traveling the world. She's based in Boulder, Colorado.
Devon's first book, Earth Women, is coming soon. To learn more, join the mailing list, and receive updates, head to www.devonbarrowwriting.com.