This post is (mostly) strictly for the ladies, unless you men want to read about SCARY lady stuff. You know what I mean!
For everyone else…
Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve been looking at different aspects of my life and trying to figure out how to be nicer to the environment as well as save myself some money. One of the things I’ve looked at is birth control. You may have seen some recent articles concerned about the effects of birth control pills on our ecosystem. Women on birth control pills excrete progestins, sythentic versions of natural progestogens, with their urine. These eventually make their way out into our water systems, and are making the male fish…well, less male.
Just look up “birth control” and “fish”. Now, I’m not advocating no birth control (yikes!). But rather, an inspection of available choices. I did some research, and besides the effect birth control pills have on the environment, it’s a pain to remember to take them every day at the same day. The cost for me is fortunately not significant ($5 for 3-month supply). I know it’s not always so cheap for everyone. I finally decided on getting a Paragard IUD. An IUD (Intrauterine Device) is a little thing that’s inserted into your uterus to prevent pregnancy. Here in the US there are two main kinds – the Paragard and the Mirena. The Paragard is T-shaped, and relies on copper wire to prevent pregnancy. The Mirena is likewise T-shaped, and releases a small amount of localized hormones. Much smaller than with birth control pills. I’m not entirely sure, but I think it does not cause hormone to be excreted in the urine, since it is localized and not going through the digestive system.
Both IUDs are over 99% effective. The Mirena is effective for 5 years, and the Paragard is effective for 10 years. Without insurance, it costs ~$300. With my insurance, the appointment and IUD cost me $15.
So…the birth control pills were $20/year for me. The Paragard will cost me $1.50/year.
As a disclaimer, everyone’s experience with the Paragard will differ. However, mine has been very pleasant so far! I won’t lie, the insertion was fairly painful, but well within the realm of bearable. It lasts a few seconds, at most. I felt it poking me a bit once in a while for a couple weeks. It does tend to make your period heavier and/or longer. At this point, I don’t even know it’s there. Worry-free birth control that I don’t even know is there? Love it!
Another thing I wanted to address – menstrual cycles. I’ve recently become converted to menstrual cups. I purchased the Moon Cup – Size B MoonCup. There’s the Keeper and the DivaCup as well.
The Moon Cup is made out of medical-grade silicone. You won’t need to throw out tampons or pads. It’s comfy once inserted. You can keep it in longer, and there’s no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. It’s non-absorbent, so it won’t dry you out. You won’t need to keep BUYING tampons and pads. The Moon Cup is about $30 with shipping. It’s medical-grade silicone, so it’s reusable until you break it. It can save you a lot of money and garbage!
Hope this helps you ladies!