Earth Day is on April 22... and in today's world of "going green," women are starting to look into more eco-friendly birth control methods. In addition to abstinence and natural family planning, some women are choosing extended cycle pills as part of a "greener" lifestyle (less waste due to monthly period products). The environmentally-conscious woman can also decide to use
an IUD or birth control implants. Both are completely reversible and are among the most effective of all contraceptives.
Besides the fact that there are no monthly blister packs to throw away (like with the pill), there is a very minimal amount of plastic waste generated through IUD or implant use - basically, just the device itself and the protective package it came in.
Mirena IUDs as well as Implanon and Nexplanon contain a small amount of progestin that is slowly released into the body. ParaGard offers the advantage of a reliable, no hormone, birth control option. In addition to being eco-friendly, these long-term contraceptive options don't contain any synthetic estrogen (unlike combination birth control pills, the NuvaRing and the patch). Such estrogen, when excreted through urine, can wind up back into our rivers and streams. Research is beginning to uncover the effects of estrogen released into sewers and waterways through the urine of women taking hormonal birth control. Finally, many women report lighter to fewer to no periods while using ParaGard, Mirena, Implanon and Nexplanon; this equals lowered use of feminine protection products -- again helping to keep our Earth cleaner.
Are you trying to live an eco-friendly lifestyle (or wanting to start)? If so, how green is your birth control?
- Safe Sex and Protecting the Earth...Can You Recycle Condoms?
- ParaGard (Copper) IUD
- Mirena IUD
- What to Expect During an IUD Insertion
- How an IUD is Removed
Eco-Friendly Contraception Photo © 2013 Dawn Stacey