(As Opposed to Pro-Creational Sex)
I'm done making babies. Waaaaaayyyyy done. Factory is closed. Not gonna reopen. Ever. Again.
Not that having children isn't a wonderful, magical thing. It's a beautiful expression of the love between a man and a woman that manifests into a screamin', cryin', poopin' miracle. But enough is enough. We've got two and I'll be damned if we're gonna have another and let ourselves get outnumbered. Besides, what's the worst thing for the planet? More people on it.
So, we're against more babies (for us, that is.... you do what you want) but we're not against sex. In fact, I'd say we're very much for sex. When the kids haven't worn us down into a state of vegetative exhaustion that is. So what's a pro-sex, anti-baby couple to do? Get some birth control, that's what.
I gave hubby a year after our last kid was born to do the snip-snip thing, which he swore up and down he would. Guess when that happened? If you guessed "never", well, you're probably married too. So after a year of being on the pill, I went to my vaginologist (makes them sound much more scientific -- as well as dare-devily, don't you think?) to check out what my options were. Turns out, some new products had become available since the last time I inquired.
After going through all the pros and cons with my doc, I finally chose Mirena, an IUD that releases very low levels of progestin directly into the uterus. The IUD is good for five years of pregnancy prevention and is 100% reversible, in case I ever go insane. There is a very minimal amount of plastic waste generated through its use - just the IUD itself and the protective package it came in. But the big advantage it has over the pill and the patch is that it doesn't any contain any synthetic estrogen. Estrogen that, when excreted through urine, ends up making its way back into our streams and rivers.
As you may or may not know, numerous studies, including those conducted by the EPA and the Canadian Fresh Water Institute, have found that increased levels of synthetic estrogen in our waters is leading to the feminization of fish. And we're not talking about handsome little metro-perchuals with stylish hairdos that carry man-purses and go to off-Broadway productions of Sunset Boulevard. We're talking about male fish who have lost the ability to fertilize eggs because their man-parts are too busy making their own eggs.
This, to me, is scary shit. If it's already impacting the fish, will our own sons or grandsons be affected too? I don't have the answers, but I sure as hell don't want to contribute to the problem.
Before you start sending me moron-mail, let me say that I know I have other options available for birth control that are even more eco-friendly. Like abstinence (I'm already married with two kids and a sports fanatic husband, claiming abstinence as our birth control feels redundant) or the rhythm method (yeah, cuz as millions and millions and millions of Catholics will tell you - that's super-reliable). But this particular form of birth control - Mirena - is the one that I felt most comfortable with. It has minimal impact on the environment and minimal impact on me.
Now I know this is a hot-button issue for a lot of folks, and I'm not gonna tell you what type, if any, birth control you should use. I'm just gonna say this: take a moment to do some research of your own, talk to your doctor, and decide what alternative is right for you and your partner. You never know, there may be new options available that you are simply unaware of.
And, as always, feel free to rant and rave about my moral depravity in the comments. I like the masochistic feel of it ;-)