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How To Green Your Birth Control: IUDs, Vegan Condoms, The Pill and Five Other Pregnancy Prevention Choices

Huffington Post     First Posted: 08/19/10 10:02 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 06:25 PM ET

You may love to compost, reuse, and recycle but is your birth control as green as the rest of your lifestyle choices? Women around the world rely on birth control to protect themselves, their loved ones, their families, and their future families. However, most contraception methods contribute to environmental damage. Condom rubber is harvested in the Amazon. Synthetic estrogen, progestin and other hormones are released into the world's waterways, in concentrated form or through urine expulsion, affecting water safety, impacting human health and contaminating wildlife. So we here at HuffPost Green decided to investigate the greenest forms of birth control.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 200 million women worldwide do not have access to family planning tools, resulting in 52 million unwanted pregnancies each year. In the United States each year, 50 percent of all pregnancies are unplanned. Check out our slideshow of green birth control options and vote on your favorite. As always, we want to hear from you in the comments.


IUDs
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Hailed as the greenest birth control method, Intrauterine Devices produce the least waste and boast a 99 percent pregnancy prevention rate. IUDs are hormone-free and made of copper, an abundant metal. The device is placed in a woman’s uterus by a physician, releasing copper, which creates an inhospitable environment for the uterus and serves as a spermicide. IUDs can be used for up to ten years. ParaGard is durable for ten years and Mirena, which releases progestin, lasts up to five years. IUDs are one of the least used forms of contraception: less than 2 percent of women who use birth control in the United States rely on IUDs.
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seems pretty green
the greenest!

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Green Birth Control
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