4. THE NATURAL PILL
What: A daily contraceptive pill with lower, more natural doses of hormones.
Effectiveness: 99.9%*, when used correctly and consistently
Need to know: The major concern most women have with the original pill is the cocktail of hormones it contains. ‘As a result,’ says Dr Cardoso, ‘the medical community has realised there’s quite a big demand for lower doses of hormones and more natural options.’ Zoely and Qlaira are natural-hormone pill options that are available in South Africa. ‘These contain much lower doses and are natural in that the hormones they use are more similar to hormones that are in your own body.’ Both pills deliver estradiol, the natural oestrogen that occurs in the female body, whereas most others contain the synthetic oestrogen ethinylestradiol.
Natural-hormone pills work closely with your natural cycle. A course contains different pills for different times of the month. This means there’s less room for error and forgetfulness. For this reason, some doctors recommend having up to 10 years’ experience of taking the regular pill before prescribing this one, but Dr Cardoso says that if you know yourself and are conscientious, it’s an excellent alternative.
Cost: Zoely is R225, and Qlaira R270 for a month’s supply.
• Natural hormones
• Mimics natural cycle
• No room for error