5 Methods Of Contraception You May Not Have Heard About

With the launch of the new, one-size-fits-all diaphragm, we're investigating some other forms of contraception that haven't gone mainstream – yet.

We’ve all heard about the pill, the bar and the coil – but what about non-hormonal methods of contraception? We’ve done some research to find out just how effective these wacky, weird and wonderful forms of contraception – that you may not have heard about – are…


The name’s a bit of a giveaway. Spermicide comes in the form of a cream, gel or foam and is applied to another contraceptive device – like the diaphragm – and inserted into the vagina. The chemical in the spermicide destroys sperm upon contact. This should be used with a form of barrier contraception as it only 70-80% effective when used alone and doesn’t protect against STIs. (Perhaps unnecessary) warning: If you’re into super-long, Sting-inspired tantric sex sessions, give this one a miss; it’s only effective for an hour.


The contraceptive sponge

This disposable sponge containing spermicide is placed at the cervix, to kill sperm before they worm their way into your womb and towards your fallopian tubes. When the sponge is used with a condom, the failure rate is only 2 percent, but on it can also be re-used within the same 12-hour period – so if you and your beau decide to have a sex marathon, this’ll be your best friend. However, on its own, the sponge is not an effective method of contraception and does not protect against STIs, so condoms – male or female (see below) – are a must.

contraceptive sponge

Female condom / femidom

We’ve all heard about it, but how does it actually work?! It’s the only contraceptive method for women that protects against pregnancy and STIs. its works by holding the sperm, thus preventing it from entering the vagina. It looks a little like, er, a large, used condom (sexy) and is inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse. If used correctly, it’s as effective as condoms (so that’s around 98 percent), but it’s tricky to get a handle on, so caution is advised.

Female condom


This is the new one-size-fits-all diaphragm. It’s inserted into the vagina, just like a tampon, and is placed directly in front of the cervix before sex to prevent sperm cells from entering. There is no GP appointment needed to fit it, unlike the diaphragms of yore; the Caya is designed to mould to the shape of your own vagina, thanks to its contoured design – and, if inserted correctly, makers are claiming that the Caya could be just as effective as the pill.

caya contraceptive

Cervical cap

This is a deep silicone cap that fits against the cervix and prevents sperm and bacteria from entering. This method of contraception is 89 percent effective if you’ve never had children, but is only 74 percent effective if you have given birth because after child birth a woman’s cervix is wider and is unlikely to return to its original shape, which means it is harder for the cap to stay in place However, it must be used with a spermicide to kill all sperm.

cervical cap