My husband and I are done having kids. Very done. It being a second C-section, we picked the tubal ligation as the most definite form of birth control we could manage. It helps that it’s also nicely green.
I’ve used a few types of birth control in the past. Hormonal birth control was quite frankly my least favorite. It impacted my moods quite a bit, and of course there’s the release of hormones into the water supply when you use hormonal methods. It’s green in that it’s highly effective, so that fewer children are born, but the hormones really are not good for other creatures.
We also used a charting method successfully for a few years. We didn’t do the popular one of checking my temperature each morning. We used a microscope instead. I licked a slide each morning, and when it dried we checked for a fern pattern. This pattern appeared a few days before ovulation. Worked well for both sides of family planning, actually.
Done right, charting methods are very effective. Not perfect, or I wouldn’t have Selene, although I also know exactly when it was we goofed. Stress can unfortunately make people a little less careful about these things, which is the hazard of charting methods. I recommend a microscope with a 100x setting. 20x was really not good enough for us to see the ferning. But you shouldn’t need any more powerful than that either. You can get a fertility microscope if you like, but I like having one that we can use for other things too. Just the geek in me.
Condoms and other barriers can be good, but you have to keep buying them, and possibly spermicide, depending on the kind of barrier you use.
Perhaps one of the most interesting is the IUD. It’s not exactly clear how they work, but they do. Some include hormones while others don’t.
Which to Choose?
Our current method of sterilization isn’t for anyone who wants kids in the future, of course. We were absolutely positive as soon as we found out about my last pregnancy that it would indeed BE the last one. Who got sterilized was easily decided when the need for a C-section came up, although we did have to plan for that eventuality in advance in order for it to happen. You have to sign papers at least 3 days in advance.
Honestly, the charting method was my favorite. Great for communication and being in touch with my body. It takes a pretty serious commitment, however, and that’s not something everyone wants.
My suggestion for others is to really think about the overall environmental impact of your choices and which you will use reliably. If you can be reliable about charting, do it! It really is amazing how well it works IF you do it right. A woman’s body can show exactly what point of her cycle she is at.
An IUD, condoms or other barrier would probably be my next recommendations. Many doctors won’t give an IUD to a woman who hasn’t had any children yet, as I understand it, due to added difficulties with inserting it.
Hormonal birth control, while the current classic method and a highly effective one, I would recommend thinking carefully on before using. More and more evidence is coming forward on how medications of all types are impacting our water supply, and that impacts us and our environment in ways we are still discovering.