Whether you are using an IUD such as a coil or ring, the Pill, or injection there are disadvantages to each method. The primary one being that the synthetic hormones they contain can have potentially fatal side effects.
Women are often told their contraceptive contains progesterone, but none of them do. Instead they have a synthetic, chemical version – progestin or progestogen (the same thing but referred to by two separate names) – and this acts very differently from the natural hormone.
The Main Drawbacks
The chief risk associated with the Pill is well known and is that of a stroke but more recent methods such the Coil, vaginal ring or IUD’s all carry the same risk of heart attack and blood clots. They are also associated with reports of side effects such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, headache and migraines. This is because they release the synthetic chemicals they contain (progestins) directly into the bloodstream on a constant basis.
Just this year there was a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed a 300% increased risk of stroke and heart attack in vaginal ring users compared to placebo.
In the UK, the British Medical Journal published a study from Denmark linking vaginal rings to as much as a 90% increased risk of blood clots over oral contraceptives.
What’s The Alternative?
The Honey Cap is something that is not well known but is a natural alternative for those wishing to avoid chemicals. A Honey Cap is a diaphragm that has been specially treated with honey and when not in use should be kept in honey.
Its use means that the disadvantages of the chemical hormones in the Pill, injections, implants, vaginal rings and the Mirena coil are avoided and it also offers more flexibility over the timing of its use.
The copper coil does not contain hormones but is associated with heaver, more painful, periods and an increased risk of infection – leading to blocked fallopian tubes. .
If you use a normal diaphragm/cap then that also involves the use of chemical spermicides which can be an irritant to both women and men. The other drawback is that it has to be put in immediately before intercourse and you then can’t take swim or take a bath, but showers are fine.
The Honey cap however gives more flexibility as it can stay in for 48 hours during which time you can have intercourse whenever you want and also have a bath or take a swim without it being affected. It must be left in place for a minimum of 9 hours after intercourse but can stay in longer if required. It seems to be as safe as a traditional cap.
If avoiding pregnancy is essential, then the Honey Cap is not for you. Honey is NOT a spermicide but is thought to repel sperm so provides an effective, but not foolproof method of contraception.
Don’t try a DIY method either as using honey as a spermicide with an ordinary cap/diaphragm doesn’t work and has been shown to have high failure rate.
To be effective a Honey Cap needs to be properly measured and supplied by a doctor and although there are people who say they supply a Honey Cap they are only offering an ordinary cap with honey as a spermicide and as stated, these are not reliable.
This article by US bioidentical expert Dr Jeffrey Dach discusses the Mirena coil:
Dame Dr Shirley Bond is a private GP with a practice in London who has been prescribing Honey Caps for her patients for many years. More information on her can be found here: