Is there an Environmentally Friendly Form of Birth Control?

Well, is there?  Now that I am not pregnant, and hoping to stay that way, my thoughts have turned to what long term form of birth control I will use until the times comes for number two.  Even thought I am still nursing, I wouldn’t call that birth control.  Plenty of women still get pregnant when they are nursing.  I have never been one to chance that, so we have been using condoms to prevent baby making.

First of all, I hate condoms.  Besides being wasteful, they ruin the mood, the don’t exactly feel as good as the real thing, and they are a pain in the butt during the afterglow.  According to Slate magazine, condoms produce 152 million tons of trash annually.  That is a lot of sex people!  There are more natural condoms out there, ones made of lambskin.   This skeeves me out.  Even though they may break down easier than latex, the thought of lambskin being inside of me turns me off.


Used condoms found on a beach
Used condoms found on a beach



So what about the handy dandy “pill”?  Personally, I can not remember to take the pill.  I was on it years ago, and sometimes missed them.  But the main reason I never want to get back on them is that I don’t want to ingest hormones that create chaos in my body.  The wonderful effect they have, i.e., preventing babies from being made, also wreaks a lot of havoc in your system.  There is some funky chemistry being done that I don’t understand.  To me, it is like black magic.  Magically babies aren’t made because this little white pill played goalie.  But in reality, there are things being rearranged in my body.  That isn’t natural!  I rarely take medications, so why would I alter my body on a daily basis?

Plus, there have been recent stories in the news about what affect the hormones in birth control have on the eco system.  What goes in must come out.  When you take the pill, these extra hormones get peed out.  This urine goes into the water, and into the fishies.  There have been male fish found who have been “feminized” by the extra estrogen  in the water.  There could be a cocktail of fun drugs in our water, maybe I should start drinking some and have some fun!

There are other alternatives.  I personally would not, but you could get the Depo Shot.  It is a seasonal shot, so less waste but just as much junk being shot into your body.  No thanks.  The old school method of using a diaphragm.  This is like a female condom, but it is reusable.  It creates a barrier inside, but can you imagine the mess?  Plus, this is also a mega mood killer.  The sponge has made a comeback as of late, but it is not as reliable as condoms or the pill.  Also, it has to be thrown away after use.


The sponge... or at least a sponge
The sponge... or at least a sponge



More drastic forms of birth control offer reliable solutions with less waste.  A copper IUD, (intrauterine device) is 99% effective and lasts for ten years.  It is tiny too.  This is not for me either since I will want to get pregnant in the not too distant future.  It is in consideration for after I am done having children.  Then there are the permanent solutions: Tubal Ligation and Vasectomy.  Tubal Ligations are more popular, but are in fact more painful with a longer recovery time that getting the mister snipped.  But I believe they are more popular because men are wussies.  We have the babies, and also have to go under the knife to stop having babies as well.  But, if I had my way, the ultimate birth control would be a vasectomy.  They are outpatient, simple, and effective.  Well, mostly effective.  I think you may have to go twice.  And you have to allow time for all the spermies to make their way out.  If not, you could have a surprise “yay we are snipped and we can’t get pregnant so let’s have sex” baby!!!


A copper IUD on the left.
A copper IUD on the left.



If you are into it, there is such a thing as “natural family planning.”  Me, no thanks.  But if you like charting your ovulation, relying on breastfeeding, and using the pull and pray method, then it could be your ideal.

Personally, I am going to stick with the “I am too tired to have sex because the baby still wakes up 2-5 times a night, and for most of the night he sleeps in between me and my husband” form of birth control.   So far, so good!

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  • I am mildly obsessed with Natural Family Planning (or Fertility Awareness, whatever people call it now!) I had all the same problems that you did with every type of birth control, although I don’t think I would ever consider an IUD because, well LOOK AT IT, it is terrifying; just ready and willing to rip through your cervix like a little copper monster. ICK. I was very very very happy when I discovered NFP. I wasn’t even sexually active back then, but I began charting right away and ran around with my charts in a state of glee. (By NFP, I am only referring to charting BBT & cervical fluid, not ecological breastfeeding and definitely not withdrawal. People really call withdrawal NFP? That seems very odd to me.)

    I keep intending to write a blog entry about NFP, but then I chicken out. Plus, I can’t really put into words why I love it so much. It has just always made me feel very empowered, and I love that there isn’t anyone out there making a profit off my sex life. And, I don’t know, somehow it seems very respectful to my body, and my husband’s body, and our intimacy. Of course, the downside is that everyone thinks that NFP=Rhythm Method, so of course I would instantly get pregnant. In the beginning I got a lot of useless crap from people who didn’t believe in minding their own business. Thankfully, it has been long enough now that they have all accepted that I’m either right or infertile.

    I hope you find whatever method is right for you! Abstinence doesn’t sound very fun 😉
    .-= Kristin´s last blog ..How much money do we really need? =-.

    • Amber

      I am right there with you on NFP/FAM! I love it! I can’t believe how much women can understand about there bodies if they want to just pay attention! I also got a lot of crap about it. I still do. People think I don’t have a clue about what I’m doing it that it’s too weird or gross. They all think I’m going to have like 20 babies. It didn’t help that I did have an “unexpected” pregnancy while following it. But that was not due to NFP/FAM not working, which is why I said unexpected in quotations. I knew I was ovulating. I just put too much faith in my barrier method (famcap). He is a wonderful blessing that I didn’t realize at the time that we were ready for anyway! As much as I love it, I would love to just pop a pill and not have to worry about getting pregnant again so soon. But i cannot get past the abortifant factors of hormonal birth control or the side effects, the biggest one being the plummet of the sex drive! What?! That’s makes no sense to me. And now they are finding out that it may be permanent! No thank you! I’ll stick with tracking signs. Besides, there are few things so rewarding as luteal phase! =)

  • Great post, interesting pic of the condoms and love your current choice of birth I do use the “family planning method” only b/c with both girls we had trouble conceiving and the FPM was the only thing that worked for TTC. So I’m now an expert (I hope) at just reading my body and knowing when it is just not the right time. This is only until DH gets the snip snip soon..haha
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Simply Salads Review =-.

    • Joy

      I use the Baby Comp and It works great for us!

  • I got the IUD in and I regret it really. I mean, since, I have had no sex drive to even worry about getting pregnant, and at the beginning I just felt like crap. I’ve gotten used to it I guess, I don’t notice it as much. I’d get it taken out but I’m uninsured and right now we can’t afford a doctor’s visit.

    Oh well.
    .-= Kristen (@tackytalks)´s last blog ..A few pictures from today… =-.

  • Great post. I was thinking about an IUD for a while, but I have a hard time with the abortive aspect of them. I had a ring, but never put it in. We’re going the way of the snipsnip, too.
    .-= Pamela´s last blog ..driving back from le maison well-read =-.

  • Interesting post!

    I like to use a combo of FAM (fertility awareness method) and condoms. If you track your cycles you only have to “prevent” during your fertile window. So less waste, but more reliable. Reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility was a great education on how our bodies work.

    Ecological breastfeeding does delay your fertility from returning. But there are “rules” to follow for that too. (Breastfeeding and Natural Childspacing is a book on this topic.) I have friends who never had a cycle return for almost 2 years! Me, I was not so lucky and mine returned at 6 months.
    .-= Mama K´s last blog ..Popcicle Season =-.

    • I have loved reading everyone’s comments so far! Thanks so much for all of your valuable insight into Natural Family Planning. Like many of you, I am hoping my cycle does not return for a long time!

    • QR Henson

      My husband and I use NFP as well. And just as Mama K said- we use condoms during any “questionable” times. Married 3 years- without any hiccups. I know above you listed, “pull and pray” / relying on breastfeeding… lol, just be careful. These are nails-on-a-chalkboard words for hard core NFPers! ;]

      I even have a close friend who likes to be green, and hates medication– but she thought NFP was too much effort. She bought the ovacue fertility monitor and loves it! Very little work involved. For me, though, i like understanding and knowing my body without a machine telling me! Also, there are many different types of NFP that are surprisingly EXTREMELY effective…

      it’s funny (although, admittedly somewhat insulting… but i try not to be so sensitive) how many people are so quick to put NFP down as a ridiculous option. I love it!

  • C

    A word of caution about Natural Family Planning – we used it to plan a pregnancy once and as birth control for several years, but I did still get pregnant at a time when we did not want to. This was after several years of BBT & mucus charting and “success”. On the day before my period was to start and had all the infertile charting signs, so it really is chance taking. As a result we looked for a new method after that.

    I got a copper IUD and LOVED it and the insertion & removal was done in my dr’s office and 100% covered by insurance. It’s also very easy to have taken out – after 3 yrs with it we decided to try for another baby and I was pregnant within 2 months. I plan on getting another after baby arrives. By far it has been the most convenient & method for us.

  • I have a copper IUD and there are no issues here. It sounded like someone felt like it interfered with sex drive. It shouldn’t. Breastfeeding, on the other hand, can greatly diminish sex drive.

    Also, to the person that mentioned the “abortive” nature of them, that’s not true. It’s a myth that they prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. Instead, the copper causes the uterus to be inhospitable for the sperm. It’s like permanent spermicide.
    .-= Summer´s last blog ..Reversible cotton sun hat =-.

  • I too have an IUD. It is made of a plastic substance – that is where the hormones come from – that’s why I chose it – tiny amounts of hormone delivered right where they are needed, not all over one’s body!

    The endless spotting is annoying me still ( a few months in) and it is easy to have removed, was simple to have put in too.

    As summer says above, it simply makes the place unsuitable for sperm to even get in, so no babies!

  • Sarah

    I just thought you might like to know that anything you pee out is inactivated or broken down. Meaning the hormones and drugs that are peed out are not active and they wouldn’t be able to have an effect on the environment. What might have an effect on the environment are things like the patch and Nuvaring since they are plastic and thrown out after use, they may still have some residual hormone.

  • Erin

    I know this is a little late but I thought I would give my two cents. First this about IUD’s are there are two different types ones that release hormones (Mirena ) and ones that don’t ( Paragard). Most people who have problems with sex dive etc have them with the Mirena (you would also get the same effect if you took the pill). In all honesty and form of BC outside of family planning carries a risk for miscarriage. I got an IUD after I had my first, since I had a very high risk pregnancy and was told not to get pregnant for at least a year and can’t remember to take the pill (thats how we ended up with number one ;). Yes it last for ten year but the beauty of an IUD is you don’t have to keep it in that long. when our first turned one and a half and we decided we wanted another, I made an appointment, had it removed and was pregnant the next month. IUD is not for everyone but I loved mine and plan on getting another as soon as this baby is here.

    • Erin

      There are a few typos that’s what I get for trying to type with a toddler in my lap lol

  • Tiffany

    Sex people?