Is Birth Control Vegan?Tom Levin
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For a very long time I was on the pill, but when I became a vegan I discovered most birth control methods aren’t. Since I’m all for controlling my own fate and practicing safe sex I did a little research. I focused on five main methods of birth control and here is what I found:
Birth Control Pill:
According to the Guttmacher Institute, as of 2012, the most commonly used form of contraceptive is the pill. This makes sense considering you get to reduce your cramps, with clearer skin, and potentially bigger boobs. Like most medications however, the pill was likely tested on animals. Another factor is that most pills contain lactose or a dairy alternative for it. Lastly, there is a small chance that they still contain Premarin as they did years ago. What’s Premarin you may ask? Dehydrated horse pee, my friends!
Condoms are important. Not only as a method of birth control but as a form of protection from sexually transmitted diseases. The unfortunate part is that condoms contain latex, which almost always contains the milk protein, casein. Luckily, latex free condoms are available and are indeed vegan.
So you can either go for Glyde and Sir Richard’s Condom company for the full cruelty free option, or opt for a latex free version of your favorite brand, but take into account these brands might carry animal testing.
There are two forms of IUDs, hormonal and non-hormonal. IUDs are great because they don’ require you to rely on take something on a daily basis. While the non-hormonal IUD, also known as the copper IUD, is vegan friendly, the hormonal IUD is harder to determine. Once again, both were likely tested on animals.
The NuvaRing is a flexible ring you place into your vagina monthly, keeping eggs from leaving the ovaries. Like the pill, it contains both oestrogen and progestin so is likely not vegan.
Natural Birth Control:
The most “vegan” option. It includes a variety of methods such as; the withdrawal method, the natural family planning (NFP) which involves limiting intercourse to less fertile periods, the “rhythm method” that relies on charting your menstrual cycle, the symptoms based method, and more. The reliability of these methods however varies from person to person and is not as predictable.
As a fellow vegan that’s trying to stay pregnancy free herself this seemed a little discouraging. But, remember that there are more and more vegan brands every day and the greater the need the more options there will be. Whichever method you choose I wish you all safe vegan adventures!