Birth control pills are only 99% effective, and there is still a chance of pregnancy even when you take them consistently daily. Apart from preventing pregnancies, doctors sometimes prescribe these pills to aid acne, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (
If you prefer not to take hormones,
Learn all about birth control methods, their traditional counterparts as well as their side effects, and how TCM can help alleviate them effectively.
The Different Types of Birth Control Methods
This method is suitable for both men and women. However,
2. Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC)
You will have to undergo a procedure where your doctor will insert an intrauterine device or a hormonal implant inside your cervix. It can last from three to 10 years and you
3. Short-acting hormonal methods
This is where regular birth control pills come in, as well as mini pills, patches, injections, and vaginal rings. Depending on the type of pills, you take them daily or monthly and for contraceptive shots, your doctor will administer them every three months.
4. Barrier methods
Whenever you have sex, make a point to always use a condom. This is one barrier method which is used just before sexual intercourse with your partner. Other barrier methods include diaphragms, sponges, and cervical caps. These prevent sperm from entering the reproductive system when inserted into
5. Natural rhythm method
If you are all about natural methods,
Herbal Birth Control
Herbs are one of natural birth control methods if you don’t want to take man-made birth control pills, synthetic hormones, or monitor your cycle. Some doctors and herbalists believe that natural herbs can provide protection against pregnancy when combined with a barrier method such as male or female condoms.
1. Sterility promoters
Women in the Dakota tribe used Stoneseed root (Collinsonia canadensis) to promote sterility. The root is ingested for six months daily after being is steeped in cold water.
Another root called Jack-in-the-pulpit root was taken by women in the Hopi tribe. It can be consumed after being mixed with cold water, though it’s not as potent.
Thistle plants, which were consumed by women in the Quinault tribe, are meant to promote temporary sterility if you can get your hands on them. They are usually boiled in water and made into tea.
2. Implantation preventers
In India, Queen Anne’s Lace – also known as wild carrot seed – was used as birth control. Women took the seeds for seven days after sex, especially when they were fertile, to prevent any fertilised eggs from attaching to the uterus.
According to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, some women in rural North Carolina are known to consume Queen Anne’s Lace seeds, by mixing them into water to prevent pregnancy. One similar study also found that chewing the seeds produced the most effective results.
Another plant called Smartweed has leaves that contain substances like rutin, quercetin, and gallic acid which are said to prevent fertilised egg implantation.
Rutin can also be purchased on its own for a similar purpose. It may be taken after unprotected sex until the start of menstruation.
3. Menstruation starters
To promote menstruation, some women take ginger root. It is available in powder form, and usually taken with boiling water several times a day for five
Vitamin C may have a similar effect but higher doses are needed. However, taking high doses of vitamin C in synthetic form may result in loose bowels.
Birth Control as Treatment for Other Conditions
Some doctors prescribe birth control pills to treat conditions such as acne, endometriosis, Polycystic ovary syndrome (
Physician Lim prescribes Gui zhi fu ling pills (
While herbs are natural,
- Healthline. 2019. Are There Options for Herbal Birth Control? [Accessed 27 April 2022]
- OASH. 2019. Birth Control Methods. [Accessed 27 April 2022]
- International Journal of Medical Sciences. 2021. Traditional Chinese medicine prescription Guizhi Fuling Pills in the treatment of endometriosis. [Accessed 27 April 2022]