Alternative solutions to the pill

Alternative solutions to the pill

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In France, 55.5% of women using a contraceptive method take the pill, compared to 26% for the IUD. In total, this makes 5.2 million users of contraceptive pills. Do you know exactly how your pill works and what might be your alternatives?

The pill, how does it work?

Any contraceptive pill contains hormones: either a progestogen alone (a derivative of progesterone), or - and this is the most common case - the combination of a progestin and estrogen. "They act on three levels," says Sylvain Mimoun, a gynecologist at Cochin Hospital.

  • First level : "The hormones make the brain believe that there are already enough hormones in the body and that it is no longer necessary to make them to stimulate the ovaries. do not produce eggs and there is no ovulation. "
  • Second effect: "These hormones make the cervical mucus present in the vagina thicker and therefore likely to prevent the passage of sperm.
  • Third mode of action: "they make the lining of the uterus thinner, which would prevent implantation of the egg if it were to be formed," says the doctor. It is thanks to these three security locks that the pill has a reliability rate of 99.8% ... provided you do not forget it!


The IUD or Intrauterine Device

  • T-shaped, it is placed inside the uterus and acts by atrophying the uterine lining to prevent implantation. Some IUDs are hormone-free, others release progesterone. It can be used even if we have never had children.

The contraceptive patch

  • This self-adhesive stamp to change each week diffuses estrogen-progestogen hormones (the same as in pills) through the skin. Advantage: we are less likely to forget it than the pill.
  • Some specialists warn that it could run the same thromboembolic risks as the pill. Others believe that the risks are lower when the hormones are not absorbed orally.

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