We are at the University of Hanover on 23.01.23 Learn more
Home

Female contraceptives

Fair and gender equal contraception

It is about time for contraception to no longer be a physical and emotional burden.

Vision & Mission

When will side effects be reduced?

Women* have a variety of contraceptive methods at their disposal, but these often involve effort, money and side effects. In general, there is a main distinction between hormonal and non-hormonal contraception. While hormonal methods offer the advantage of a low Pearl Index, i.e. very effective protection, there are also non-hormonal contraceptive methods that rely solely on physical signals, but have a higher Pearl Index and lower reliability.

More than 70% of all sexually active people in Germany rely on a form of contraceptive during sexual intercourse. The birth control pill is particularly popular: 47% of sexually active people list the birth control pill as their preferred contraceptive method. It therefore surpasses the condom, which is preferred by 46%. However, the birth control pill is becoming increasingly unpopular due to its side effects; the under-30s in particular prefer to use the condom instead of the birth control pill.

Hormonal contraceptives in particular, such as the birth control pill, can cause a variety of physical and psychological side effects. Depressive moods, loss of libido, migraines and weight gain are common side effects.

It is therefore crucial to educate the public about the risks involved and to increase investment in the development of contraception with minimal side effects. However, the current state of research for the development of contraceptives is sobering: instead of the 20% of sales that is common for research on many drugs, only 2% are invested in research for contraceptives. Despite a wide range of options, affordable contraception with few side effectst remains in short supply.

Moreover, contraception should no longer remain the sole responsibility of women*. Sexuality is an issue that affects all genders and should therefore address everyone. Society and the social discourse should focus on the fact that the responsibility for contraception lies with both women* and men*. Furthermore, the development of contraceptive methods for men* not only promotes equity, but provides pathways. for male reproductive rights and health. Contraception is not a women's matter, but matter of every human being.

Contraceptive Methods

Female contraceptives

Birth control implant
0,5 Pearl Index

Birth control implant

The birth control implant is a tiny, thin rod which is inserted in the upper arm by a doctor and lasts for 3-5 years. It releases the hormone progestin, which thickens the mucus on the cervix and stops ovulation. Due to the hormones it affects the natural menstrual cycle. The expenses in Germany are about 300-350 euros.

Advantages

  • Very effective

  • Longterm method

Disadvantages

  • Potential hormonal side effects

  • Pain during insertion

  • No protection against STIs

Birth control pill
0,1 - 0,9 Pearl Index

Birth control pill

The contraceptive pill is a estrogen- and progestin-containing pill that is taken once a day around the same time. Most pills come in 21-day packs, therefore it is taken for 21 days in a row and is followed by a 7-day break in which bleeding occurs. Furthermore, 28-day packs are available, which do not require a break of 7 days. The contraceptive is hormonal and and influences the natural menstrual cycle. In Germany, the expenses are about 4-15€ per month.

Advantages

  • Very effective

  • Easy to use

Disadvantages

  • Potential hormonal side effects

  • Increased risk of thrombosis

  • Daily consumption

  • No protection against STIs

Birth control shot
0,2-1,4 Pearl Index

Birth control shot

The birth control shot contains the hormone progestin and is injected by gynecologists. One shot provides three months of protection. After three months, the injection must be renewed. It is a hormonal contraceptive affects the natural menstrual cycle and prevents ovulation. It also makes the cervical mucus thicker. Therefore, it prevents sperm from reaching the uterus. The expense of one injection in Germany is about 30 euros.

Advantages

  • Very effective

Disadvantages

  • Potential hormonal side effects

  • Many doctor appointments

  • No protection against STIs

Cervical cap
6 Pearl Index

Cervical cap

The cervical cap is a little cup made from soft silicone, which is inserted into the vagina in order to cover the cervix. As the cervical cap covers the cervix, it stops sperm from entering the uterus and potential fertilization of the egg. In use, the cervical cap must be used with spermicides which reduces the motility of the sperm.

Advantages

  • No daily usage

  • No side effects

  • Application on demand

Disadvantages

  • Many application errors

  • No protection against STIs

Copper IUD (Intrauterine Device)
0,3-0,8 Pearl Index

Copper IUD (Intrauterine Device)

Die Kupferspirale, der Kupferball oder die Kupferkette werden in die Gebärmutter eingelegt oder im Falle der Spirale verankert. Durch die Freigabe von Kupferionen wird die Überlebensfähigkeit von Samenzellen gehindert und die Gebärmutterschleimhaut verdickt. Nach dem Einsetzen wirkt das Verhütungsmittel für bis zu drei Jahre. Es handelt sich um ein hormonfreies Verhütungsmittel. Die Kosten liegen bei ca. 120-400 Euro.

Advantages

  • Sehr sicher

  • Keine tägliche Einnahme

  • Langjähriger Schutz

Disadvantages

  • Ambulanter (operativer) Eingriff

  • Potenzielle Schmerzen beim Einsetzen

  • Stärkere Menstruation

  • Potenzielle Nebenwirkungen durch Kupfer

  • Kein Schutz vor sexuell ĂĽbertragbaren Krankheiten

Diaphragm
12 Pearl Index

Diaphragm

The diaphragm is placed in the vagina prior to sexual intercourse (about 30min before) and provides a physical barrier to sperm. It is a shallow, bendable cup made of soft silicone. You bend it in half and insert it inside your vagina to cover your cervix. In addition,it must be used with spermicide. The spermicide, s based on lactic acid and lowers the pH of the vagina. As a result, it reduces the mobility of the sperm. The diaphragm should not be removed for eight hours after intercourse. Before using the diaphragm for the first time,a consultation with the gynecologist is beneficial. It is a hormone-free contraceptive that does not affect the natural menstrual cycle. The expense in Germany ranges from about 30-70 euros.

Advantages

  • Usage on demand

  • No side effects

  • Usage on demand

Disadvantages

  • High Pearl-Index

  • No protection against STIs

Hormonal IUD (Intrauterine Device)
0,2-0,4 Pearl Index

Hormonal IUD (Intrauterine Device)

The hormonal IUD is inserted into the uterus by a gynecologist and lasts for three to five years. Small amounts of hormones are continuously released, which thicken the mucus on the cervix and stop ovulation. The expense in Germany is around 250-400 euros.

Advantages

  • Very effective

  • No daily usage

  • Longterm method

Disadvantages

  • Ambulatory (surgical) procedure

  • Potential pain during insertion

  • Potential hormonal side effects

  • No protection against STIs

  • May increase period and abdominal pain

Internal Condom
5-25 Pearl Index

Internal Condom

Internal condoms — also called “female” condoms — are an alternative to regular condoms and can be inserted into the vagina up to 24 hours prior to sexual intercourse. In usage, it is important to let the outer ring hang about an inch outside the vagina. After sexual intercourse, the outer ring should be tied to a knot in order to prevent any sperm leakage. It is a hormone-free contraceptive that does not affect the natural menstrual cycle and prevents sexually transmitted diseases. The expense for 3 internal condoms in Germany is about 10 euros.

Advantages

  • Prevention of STIs

  • Usage on demand

  • No side-effects

Disadvantages

  • High Pearl-Index

  • Multiple application errors

  • Purchase only online

Natural family planning (NFP)
nicht bestimmbar Pearl Index

Natural family planning (NFP)

Natural family planning is based on the observation of signals from the female body. Body temperature and cervical mucus must be documented daily, as these indicate the time of ovulation. It is a natural hormone-free method of contraception, which does not affect the hormonal balance and the natural cycle.

Advantages

  • Safe, if applied correctly

  • No side-effects

Disadvantages

  • Many application errors

  • Requires practice and time

  • Difficult with irregular cycles

  • No protection against STIs

Sterilisation
0,1 Pearl Index

Sterilisation

Sterilization is a surgical procedure and leads to permanent infertility. The fallopian tubes are blocked or sealed to prevent the eggs reaching the sperm and becoming fertilised. The expenses for sterilization are about 600€.

Advantages

  • Very effective

  • Long-term method

Disadvantages

  • Irreversible

  • Refertilization expensive (2000-5000€)

  • Surgical procedure

Transdermal hormonal patch
0,72-0,9 Pearl Index

Transdermal hormonal patch

The hormone patch is applied to the stomach, thighs, backside or the outside of the upper arm. It releases hormones estrogen and progestin through your skin, which thicken the mucus on the cervix and stop ovulation. The patch must be changed weekly on the same day in a 3-week cycle. On week 4, there is no patch required and bleeding occurs. The patch is a hormonal contraceptive that influences the natural menstrual cycle. The expense is about 13 euros per month.

Advantages

  • Easy to use

Disadvantages

  • Potential hormonal side effects

  • No protection against STIs

Vaginal ring
0,4-0,65 Pearl Index

Vaginal ring

The vaginal ring is inserted into the vagina like a tampon and remains there for up to 3 weeks. It is followed by a one-week break, in which bleeding occurs. After this period, a new vaginal ring must be used. It is a hormonal contraceptive that affects the whole body and influences the natural menstrual cycle. The expense is about 19€ per month.

Advantages

  • Very effective

Disadvantages

  • Potential hormonal side effects

  • Potential irritation of the vulva/vagina

  • No protection against STIs

FAQ

The important questions

How do I choose the right contraceptive method for me?

The choice of a contraception method depends on several factors and is also very individual. We inform you on this website about all existing methods in an independent and non-judgmental way. However, for the consultation and choice of your contraceptive, we strongly recommend a consultation with your doctor.

Will there also be new contraceptives for women* in the future?

Yes! - At least that' s what we work and advocate for. There are already several ideas and approaches for new female contraceptives. For example, a non-hormonal pill, vaginal ring, and a gel capsule are currently being researched. You can find more information on our Instagram account. We will add more information to our glossary as it becomes available.

What male contraceptives are currently being developed?

Find out more!

Contact us

Get in touch with us!

Your questions have not been answered yet or you just want to share your thoughts with us? Then write us via the contact form.

We will only use your data in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thank you for your message :)

We will get back to you as soon as possible

A problem has occurred

Please try again later

* While we speak of women and men, we are aware of the diversity of genders and demand better contraception for all people.