Conceiving of greener contraception

February 3, 2009


In one of my recent posts, Arduous and I got a little sidetracked in the comments section and began talking about how frustrating it is trying to find an eco-friendly method of birth control.

The only options out there, when it comes to contraception, seem to be:

  1. Taking the pill (like Marvelon, Allesse, Tri-Cyclen, etc)
  2. Using condoms (preferably a brand like Beyond Seven)
  3. Getting an IUD inserted
  4. Using sponges, spermicidal gels and diaphragms
  5. Relying on the rhythm/calendar method
  6. Good ol’ abstinence

Well, considering the pill ends up sending a LOT of estrogen and progesterone out through our urine, into the toilet, down through the sewer system and finally into our lakes and streams where it gives poor froggies unwanted sex changes and eventually depletes their population, that doesn’t seem very sustainable at all.

Condoms — well, fine, they’re probably the most straightforward solution, but they’re still annoying and they create waste.

The thought of inserting a copper wire into my uterus in order to screw up the natural balance of whatever the heck’s in my uterus (can you tell I flunked science?) just creeps me out, but it does seem effective and is most definitely sustainable. Still, though… putting wires where I eventually want to grow another human being?

Sponges, gels and diaphragms are usually messy and there’s the unrealistic expectation that a woman will be able to know precisely when she’s about to have sex and can easily duck into the bathroom half an hour before and immediately after. This also assumes she’s at home… unless she’s the kind of girl who carries all these items in her purse.

Personally, I’m a fan of the rhythm or calendar method, but only because I haven’t gotten knocked up yet. This is considered the most unreliable of all birth control methods, however I think this is mostly because people are inherently lazy and/or stupid and can’t figure out when they’re ovulating (um, yeah…  don’t quote me on this when I end up with child a month from now). Anyway, you basically have to take your temperature every morning as soon as you wake up and chart its progression until you start to see a regular up-and-down pattern. Combine this with other observations such as the look/feel/smell of what’s going on in that region (I will NOT be showing you the rather blunt photo of cervical mucus that Wikipedia does; you can see for yourself), and it actually becomes very obvious when you are at risk of getting pregnant and when you’re definitely in the clear. Honestly, there are only about five to seven days when you shouldn’t be having sex.

And lastly, there’s the absolute most effective and most sustainable form of protection: abstinence. Yep, the old don’t-have-sex-to-begin-with approach. Uh, right. Good luck with that!

Really, though, everyone has a method that works best for him or her, and it all depends on where you’re at in life, who you’re with (or not with), and what you’re doctor says.

Thoughts? What kind of contraception do you guys use?

Image from The Karlos’ on Flickr