I don't really know what sub-forum this belongs in, but I wanted to post about it.
I think that birth control conversations are something that is severely lacking in regards to zero waste and eco-conciousness. I personally use (and teach) the sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness, which requires a thermometer (most people already own this), and either paper or an electronic device to keep charts. Other than that it doesn't require anything, including lots of visits to the gyno in which I always think about all of the single use stuff they are using. Anyhow, I'd love to know what other zero waste people use and answer any questions you might have about the sympto-thermal method, since I teach it. My website is here: http://holistichormonalhealth.com
I have been thinking about this a lot lately too. My monthly birth control is extremely wasteful. Plastic case with blister pack tablets inside and a bunch of paper instructions. I talked to the gyno about getting either a low hormone or hormone free IUD but not sure if I'm ready. What have others done about this?
I had a copper IUD before using what I do now. I didn't like it because of a few physical things (abdominal pain, cramps, bleeding, occasionally painful intercourse), I had to rely on doctors visits more than I wanted, and fear of having an ectopic pregnancy.
Hormones were never an option for me because of health and environmental concerns, so I never really thought much about the various hormonal options.
While I understand that you aren't interested in hormonal birth control, I did just get Nexplanon implanted in my arm 2 months ago and its been great. Unlike uterine IUDs, you can still use a menstrual cup. There was some waste at the doctor's office (the applicator, lidocaine, and steri strips), but the implant lasts for 3 years, which I figure will save a lot of blister packs of pills in that time.
We don't have any kids yet, but once we have done that, I'm trying to convince my husband that its his turn to take responsibility for the birth control by getting a vasectomy. Why should it just be me taking pills and getting implants? :-)
I am a dinosaur who actually still uses a diaphragm! But I love it because I hate taking hormone. Diaphragms are now getting a bit scarce in the US, at least is a variety of sizes, but I have a relative living in Germany where they have a full range of sizes available without an RX. I got fitted by my OB, and then I found out it wasn't easy to get here.
It comes in a plastic case, but since you keep it for a few years I don't feel like I am creating too much waste.
I think diaphragms are great, but the efficacy worries me at this stage in my life (perfect use is only 94%). From what I've heard it's not too bad to get a diaphragm, but finding a doctor here that is comfortable fitting them is another story. It's a lost art!
This is an old post, but I thought I'd share an idea that many people don't know about: Natural Family Planning. I use the sympto-thermal method. Once you learn it (preferably through a class taught by organizations such as the Couples to Couples League), you only need a booklet of charts to keep records of your cycle and a basal thermometer. Many people don't believe it is a viable, effective form of family planning, but it is extremely effective when done correctly, and it's probably the most zero-waste option available.