Non-Hormonal Contraception & Birth Control

Do you want to get off the pill but don’t know other effective birth control options?
Not only is it inconvenient because you have to remember to take a pill every day, but you’re essentially pumping synthetic hormones in you in order to trick your body into thinking you’re pregnant…

Visit my Amazon store here:

FDA approves Natural Cycles Fertility Awareness Method device as a contraceptive. Time Magazine article here:

Are you on the pill?

Do you want to get off the pill but don’t know other effective birth control options?
Not only is it inconvenient because you have to remember to take a pill every day, but you’re essentially pumping synthetic hormones in you in order to trick your body into thinking you’re pregnant…

Your body won’t ovulate. Which means you won’t get pregnant even when your partner ejaculates inside of you.

While that will keep you from getting pregnant, there are negative side effects that come along with it.

Dr. Jolene Brighten and I made a video for you on the many, many different, effective, non-hormonal, and SAFE birth control methods you may want to try.

Now, if you’re asking why NOT to just use birth control pills, scroll down and keep reading.


When you’re on the pill, you may experience side effects like a lack of libido, nausea, sore breasts, blood and heart problems, and more.

So many women are moving away from synthetic, hormonal birth control pills and moving to more natural, healthier, non-hormonal methods…

We talk about these methods, like the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM), rhythm method, and many more in our video.

If you’re interested in getting off the pill…

Dr. Jolene has a wonderful program that will help you each step of the way so you won’t feel like you’re doing it alone and rushing things.



Non-Hormonal Contraception & Birth Control

I’m Susan Bratton, your trusted hot sex adviser, and I’m with my friend Dr. Jolene Brighten. We are the queens of self-care, which is why we’re wearing tiaras. We have a video series on the Queens of Self-care that talks about birth control, the pill, menopause, hormones, vaginal dryness, and painful sex.

When Jolene and I first met, we geeked out on non-hormonal contraception. We were on our girlfriend’s bed, and we started going off on non-medicated IUDs.

We’ve put together a series of videos that tell you the horrible reasons why you shouldn’t be on synthetic hormone birth control pills.

Watch the video called the Dirty Dozen reasons why you don’t want to be on the pill ever again. In case you are on the tablet, there’s a link for Dr. Brighten’s birth-control hormone reset program. If you want to get off the pill or need support to keep yourself safe, we won’t force you, but we will beg you to go off it.

Many good alternatives don’t use synthetic hormones to trick your body into thinking you’re pregnant so that you don’t ovulate, which ruins your hormones and messes up your body.

Instead, we’re going to talk about non-synthetic hormonal ways you can avoid getting pregnant because we want you to get pregnant when you’re ready and not a moment before, if possible.

In the big picture, what are the different non-hormonal birth control options?

I fear there will be a generation of Brighten babies after telling everybody about hormonal birth control. Yes, we are very invested in you having a baby, but only when you’re ready.

With non-hormonal birth control options, there are several categories. 

There’s only one non-hormonal IUD, the copper IUD, known as Paragard, an intrauterine device. 

We also have the fertility awareness method called FAM, and we have FAM meets FAMTECH. FAMTECH is the new wave of technology for you to take charge of your fertility and manage your contraceptive choices naturally.

We also have barrier methods like condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps. There is also the rhythm method, which is understanding your ovulation cycle by keeping track of vaginal secretions. FAM beats the rhythm method during research because, in FAM, you’re paying attention to your body, looking at cervical secretions and temperature, which is the symptom-thermal technique.

When you pair the data, are super in-tune with your body, and collect the objective data, which is your temperature, you get even closer to that finite window of a chance of pregnancy. You have higher odds of not getting pregnant. When fertile, you can use other forms of birth control, such as condoms. Some women like cervical caps and diaphragms, but I don’t recommend them because their efficacy rate is around 80%. If you’re not willing to roll the dice, you don’t want to rely on that method alone.


Synthetic hormonal birth control does not prevent sexually transmitted infections. I’ve got videos on STDs, and a significant issue is that condoms don’t protect you from every sexually transmitted disease. I don’t love condoms because you miss the benefits of a man’s ejaculate, which has luteinizing hormone, FSH, serotonin, and testosterone. In my Sexy Brain series, I dress up as a nurse and talk about the benefits of semen for your health. Condoms are great, but they don’t protect you from all STDs, and you don’t get the excellent symbiotic relationship of a male’s ejaculate in your own body.

Often we end up on hormonal birth control. Whether we’re on the pill or use a condom, we take a back seat and think that we don’t have to worry when we need to be aware.

Sex is a fantastic adventure, but the wiser you are, the better you will be. Most women don’t know the pill is only 91% effective with typical use, which comes with side effects.

When we look at FAMTECH (fertility awareness method being FAM) research, we see a 96-99% effectiveness. If you don’t use FAMTECH, you need to meet with a fertility awareness counselor because studies say it can be 99% effective.

I have my Daisy here. You slip it off, it goes in your mouth, and you can insert it into the vagina. The Daisy is best for women with PCOS because it measures chloride and temperature. I push the button, and it lights up yellow, which says be cautious because we don’t know if you’re ovulating.

I know I am about to ovulate because I am into my husband now. My cervical mucus is fertile. Everything is lined up, and it’s also a full moon, which is when I typically ovulate. I look at all those signs. So I best believe Daisy’s telling me the truth, and I better slow my roll if I don’t want a baby.

Daisy will light up green or red, depending on the situation. Green is GO, and red is NO. It’s calibrated to me, and if it’s green light GO, you don’t have a chance of getting pregnant.

Natural cycles were the first FEMTECH device approved as a contraceptive in Europe. In the United States, we still say, It’s only for fertility

You can only get pregnant six days out of the entire month, which blew my mind. Why aren’t we teaching our teenage girls this? When it’s green, it’s a GO. I can have unprotected sex. When it’s red, it’s a NO. 

Do you use a condom with your husband?  In your fertile time, what do you do? 

This is not a doctor’s prescription, but I use the pullout method. And it has a 4% failure rate, and I can’t recommend that as a doctor. But for me, if I get pregnant, I’m willing to roll the dice. You’re in the age, and you have a young son, and it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that you might have another child. I also have a latex sensitivity, and I don’t like polypropylene.

I’m past my age for conception, but I, as a young woman, would have used the non-medicated IUD. I would have used the fertility awareness method. But I would use a polypropylene condom during those six days, and we would have conceived.

I don’t recommend the pullout method. However, when you look at the research, it is effective if done correctly. Still, I don’t recommend anything where you’re not in control because a man’s hormones will rise, and he will ejaculate. His brain hits a point of no return. 

There’s the possibility of pre-cum even before he enters, which can have sperm that can last in your vagina for 5-6 days.

When you plug Daisy in, it shows the temperature, and I see the day I spike, and I know that I’ve released an egg. I also know that an egg doesn’t live more than 24 hours.

We talked about the fertility awareness method, and it always comes down to this very myopic having sex or not. You can have sex without penetration. You build upper body arms strength. There are other things that you can engage in with your partner. I tell my patients if you don’t want to use condoms, but are in the mood, practice your great oral pleasuring. Abstinence doesn’t work when testosterone comes into play.

You’re not failing if you don’t have self-control. It doesn’t always have to be about him. It’s also about meeting your needs, and your fertile window is a great time to explore the terrain and understand what other things bring you pleasure outside of penetration.

It’s an excellent opportunity to try something new, and I bet you’ve got a ton of information to help them.

I love Erotic Playdates when you take times that aren’t right for intercourse and learn a new technique together. People get bored in a monogamous relationship because you do the same thing repeatedly.

Suppose you’re on the fertility awareness method, and you’re abstaining from intercourse. In that case, that’s your opportunity to say, We’re doing erotic playdates, and we’re going to practice yoni massage, lingam massage, expanded orgasm. We’re going to try bedroom games, a breast massage, a new oral sex position, do 69, make love, not penetration in a different part of the house.”

Do a guided visualization of the four keys to sexual ecstasy. You’re not missing out because there many fun things you can do to increase pleasure during intercourse. You’re doing what my friend Sheree Winston calls orgasmic cross-training. Forget CrossFit; it’s more like clit-fit.

FAMTECH are devices that hook up to your iPhones. It not only tracks your temperature but also a database of a million women to accurately predict your fertile window and period.

The first month I used it for about three weeks. This little color code lit up and said I was going to have my period. I’m like, I’m not going to have my period. But sure enough, my period came a day early, and Daisy caught it within three weeks. It compares all your data.

Fertility awareness, the traditional way, can feel cumbersome. It will take you three months or more to find the pattern and understand it. Daisy can figure it out so much faster. Taking Charge Of Your Fertility is a fantastic book for every woman. Read that book and get yourself natural cycles or Daisy and start leveraging those together.

A physicist harnessed natural cycles to beat pharmaceuticals. I was taught in medical school that women can’t be expected to do FAM. Doctors won’t recommend it because the chance of pregnancy is too high if it fails.

They call it the fertility awareness method. It’s supposedly marketed to women who want to get pregnant rather than contraception. Women use it for contraception more than they are for fertility awareness, but that’s our culture. It has this Puritan perspective on sex. We can’t let them have sex unless they’re going to make a baby.

As a doctor, we’re taught not to recommend fertility awareness monitors. A big reason is that we’re not taught how to teach it. How can I suggest something when we know the research is only useful if you are working with a fertility awareness counselor.

What’s the difference between saying that the diaphragm is 91% effective. I recommend the diaphragm. Fertility awareness is a dogma that exists in women’s medicine.

I’m considered a rebel. To be fair, if a doctor isn’t taught how to teach you about something, then they shouldn’t recommend it, but at the same time, in my practice, I don’t believe in telling women what to do. I believe in a formed consensus, giving you the information, and supporting you.

I will support you if you stay on the pill because I know some aren’t ready to jump off. That’s why we doctors have to recognize that we don’t always know best for the person’s life.

Many doctors are recommending Daisy and natural cycles. We’re telling you how not to get pregnant. In medicine, what we recommend needs to be backed up by research. There were apps in the past that failed women. Medicine believes that pregnancy is a more significant risk than the side effects of contraceptives, and we have to recognize the birth control methods today are instrumental.

It also recognizes how devastating a pregnancy can be for some women, and we have to honor that. If you’re listening in, you’re like, All I want is to have a baby, and I’ve wanted nothing more. It might feel harsh, but it’s all about your individual needs. The risk of pregnancy is too much for some women, but we’re here to tell you that there are other methods.


We spent much time on fertility awareness technology, which is new and exciting, but not every woman wants to wake up in the morning and make sure her iPhone is plugged in. I like that it gets you in touch with your body, and the more in touch you are with your body, ovulation cycle, and fertility cycles, the more in control you feel. 

That being said, the non-medicated, non-hormonal copper IUD can be inserted inside you. This is what I recommended for my daughter when she came of age. It sits inside your uterus, and the bit of copper makes your uterus inhospitable for an egg, so you don’t get pregnant. It lasts for five years for most people, which means you have to make sure you don’t get sexually transmitted infections by taking STI tests or using a condom.

You can set and forget an IUD for five years. Although you can go beyond five years, you want to get it checked in eight to ten. It can be left in longer, but you can always get a quick transvaginal ultrasound, where they visualize where that IUD is.

I care about safeguarding you by knowing your body through lab tests and physical exams. There’s no way for me to get the data in your body, which is also essential if you have a copper IUD.

No one contraceptive works for everyone and without side effects. I had a copper IUD for a while.

Women have heavy periods on copper IUDs. That’s very common. There’s expulsion and perforation. Expulsion is when your uterus kicks it out and says, I don’t want it, and perforation is when it embeds into the uterine wall. 

It’s low-risk, but if it happens, how do you know you are not feeling right? 

You’ll get an ultrasound and have it removed.

It becomes a big problem when we deny our symptoms, but heavy, painful periods are real, so it’s not for everyone. If you have menorrhagia, hefty periods, you bleed for more than seven days. A copper IUD can increase blood flow, leading to anemia and cramping, also called dysmenorrhea. If you have painful cramps, it might get more painful when you get an IUD, but it’s not true for everyone.


I remember when I thought my IUD was wrong, Planned Parenthood asked me to come right away. They looked at my ultrasound and said that I was right. I could go off on Planned Parenthood forever. How many breast cancer cases they’ve caught? And I’m grateful to have them. My girlfriend went to Planned Parenthood and told me, I rode the bus home and walked two miles after having my IUD placed and didn’t have a problem.

Some patients have pretty significant cramps for the first week, and after that, it’s all fine. 

How do you track your data and have something to show your doctor and say, This is what it was like before. This is what it’s like now.

You can tell them how many tampons you’re using. If you can display on a scale of one to ten, neck cramps were two; before they were at a six. Should I be concerned?

If you bring quantifiable data, data with a number assigned to it, the doctor can see a before, and after effect. They can help you better. That’s another reason why fertility awareness methods are useful. Even if women are on synthetic hormonal birth control, I still want them on the fertility awareness method. You won’t have a natural rhythm and cycle, but it gets you in the habit of checking yourself every day. You are in control and are the queen of your self-care. 


I want to let you know about non-hormonal contraception options. There are many options instead of the pill, and if you’d like to come off the pill, Dr. Brighten has the birth control hormone reset program. Both of us were gung-ho about non-synthetic hormonal options as being the very best for you.

I cover all topics from hot sex and passionate lovemaking techniques to sexual health to bedroom communication skills to ask for what you want to everything from fantasy to tantric sex, and it’s down there for you. You can’t get from a doctor, so we’re here for you, and it’s been a joy to connect with you. 

Thank you so much. If you have any questions, post them, and we’ll do our very best to answer them. Give us a thumbs-up, and we love you right back. Have a great day.

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