: What are the safest non-hormonal forms of birth control?
: Non-hormonal birth control methods include male condoms, female condoms, the diaphragm, cervical cap, spermicides, intrauterine devices, and fertility awareness methods. One also could consider permanent birth control (e.g. sterilization -- male and female) as a non-hormonal method. These are all safe methods (although not all protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases) and if used correctly should cause no harm to the users.
Deciding what form to use is a personal one that involves criteria such as efficacy, ease of use, and each method's unique advantages and disadvantages.
Mimi Zieman, MD, is the director of Family Planning and an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. She is a Board Certified obstetrician/gynecologist specializing in gynecology and contraception. Dr. Zieman is an author of two books: A Pocket Guide to Managing Contraception for Clinicians and A Personal Guide to Managing Contraception for Women and Men.
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