Natural contraceptive options

If not the pill or the IUD – then what?  This is my most asked question and quite possible what inspired me to create my first course – Debunking Ovulation. Because it all starts with awareness – and once we know more about what are bodies are telling us by way of our fertility, then we can best find options and solutions.  You see, there aren’t many days in a month you can actually fall pregnant, but if you don’t have any idea how to work this out, then of course we turn to options like the pill, which as we have learnt aren’t necessarily consequence free.  If this is you and you’re darn afraid to stop taking the pill because you aren’t keen for a bambino – I get it!  Debunking Ovulation is for you – check it out here.

Today I’m sharing with you some options – however, I encourage you to find out as much as you possibly can when it comes to your fertility and reproductive health, decode your fertile signs and symptoms so you can actually know exactly what each one means.  Got ovulation pain?  Work out why.  Have extra long cycles of PCOS?  It’s still possible to know when you are fertile.  And not to leave you empty handed, please come to my debunking ovulation event to learn about it all from every angle – because it most certainly isn’t just about babies (although we’ll talk about this too!).

Cervical Cap

Here’s a new little contraption or should I say contraceptive option on our shores.  The cervical cap!  Dr Sherrill Sellman asked me a while back if I had heard of it – and I hadn’t.  And finally I’ve had a little time to research these babies (haha – or not).  Because I’ve started my Australian tour of my Debunking Ovulation event (and it’s a hoot!), I’ve needed to research and offer people options when coming off the pill.  Here’s what I’ve found:

  • It’s a silicone cap
  • It’s inserted into the vagina much like a diaphragm that sits over the cervix to prevent sperm from reaching the egg.
  • The cap can be inserted several hours before having sex – and must remain in place (again like a diaphragm) after sex for 6 hours.
  • The cap will not protect agains’t STD’s – and of course STD’s can cause all kinds of issues including complications with fertility.
  • You can take it out and wash it ready to be re-used.  It can be used over and over again and lasts around 2 years.
  • It’s important to be well practiced when inserting the cap – it needs to sit snug over the cervix.
  • You can have your doctor show you how to fit it correctly and you can purchase caps from the chemist.


The diaphragm is like the grandma of the cervical cap.  It works in pretty much the same way in terms of a barrier that prevents sperm getting through the cervix although it is much larger.

  • It too is made of silicone and is a dome shaped cup
  • It’s advised to be used with spermicide to increase effectiveness
  • The diaphragm can be inserted several hours before having sex – and must remain in place after sex for 6 hours.
  • The diaphragm will not protect agains’t STD’s.
  • You can take it out and wash it ready to be re-used.  It can be used over and over again and lasts around 2 years.
  • Women like the diaphragm because it doesn’t affect hormones and it is immediately effective
  • It’s also safe to use whilst breastfeeding
  • The effectiveness of the diaphragm is around 94%
  • They can be purchased from the chemist.


The age old withdrawal method gets a bit of a bad wrap – again, mostly because we’ve become so disconnected from our bodies we don’t know enough about our own bodies signs and symptoms.  This is actually very effective especially when combined with understanding your own body and it’s own fertility.

There is just one rule.  Your partner needs to make sure they urinate in between ejaculations – because if you’re lucky enough to be having sex like in the movies, then go for it I say!  Just pee in between ‘performances.’

  • Withdrawal means your partner needs to ‘withdraw’ before climax
  • There is no live sperm in pre-ejaculatory fluid
  • This method again will not protect agains STD’s
  • Women like the withdrawal method because like the cap and diaphragm it doesn’t affect hormones and it is immediately effective.
  • It’s also safe to do whilst breastfeeding
  • Withdrawal is around 96% effective if practiced correctly


Most of us are familiar with condoms.  They provide a rubber barrier that the male places over the penis to prevent sperm travelling to the cervix.

  • Condoms are inexpensive and available at supermarkets, petrol stations and milk bars etc.  They are very easy to come by.
  • They DO protect agains STD’s and some people like to combine condoms with other methods mentioned above.
  • Condoms are considered 98% effective – they can break from time to time which is the biggest concern for many health care professionals.
  • They are easy to use.

The only downsides to all the above can be skin irritations or reactions people may have to the materials (rubber/latex etc) or the inconvenience of having to put a diaphragm in place or condom on.

The reality is – these methods provide sound alternatives to preventing pregnancy.  Used in conjunction with understanding your fertility – these methods are real options in all situations  (wanting or preventing).  I encourage you to look outside of what has been sold to us as safe and foolproof by way of the pill or other invasive contraceptive devices and get back to basics – the number one priority is learning about your own body and it’s daily communications to you.

Leave a Comment

8 Responses to “Natural contraceptive options”

  1. Mel

    Great article! Didn’t realise the cervical cap was available in Australia. When Googling alternatives to the Pill I’ve come across the cervical cap but thought it was only available in countries such as the US. Will I need a prescription from my GP for this and do you know how much these cost at chemist? Thank you 🙂

  2. Sophie

    Hey Nat, I was just wondering if you’ve written any articles previously about the best supplements to take while pregnant?

  3. Talia

    Great article! I often get asked this question when I start rabbiting on about how bad the pill is! Out of interest, you mention that the diaphragm is safe to use while breastfeeding, but don’t mention this about the cervical cap. Is the cervical not okay while breastfeeding?

  4. Elle

    The issue with the pull out method is most people don’t do it perfectly and then protection goes way down to about 70%. It is quite difficult to do it properly in order to achieve 96% accuracy.

  5. Susan

    Hi Nat, you mentioned only a few days of the month are possible to conceive. What days approximately are these? Thanks.

  6. Leyla

    Love the article ! I have been searching around for a cervical cap but can’t

    Find any within Australia, just wondering if you know any places in Australia

    Where it’s sold ?

    Thank you 🙂

  7. Kellie

    Great article. Ladies at work also look at me strange when I say hubby & I don’t use any contraceptives. I have my body & cycle all worked out, and can tell pretty much exactly the day I’m ovulating. So I guess we use the ‘rhythm method’, with the occasional ‘withdrawl’ if timing is not ideal lol. It has worked for us for the last 9 years since we had our last child. Still, trying to convince other people of it’s success is frustrating!