Well-Being

Safe Sex: IS IT REALLY?

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At an early age we are exposed to the importance of responsible sexual practices as well as the need to control un-planned pregnancies. 99% of women in the US age 15-44 have used at least one method of contraception in their lifetime. In 2008, 68% of sexually active women reported using contraceptives. At the top of the list: birth control pills (hormonal contraceptives) and condoms, respectively 11 million on the pill and 7 million using condoms.

Contraception is such an accepted fixture in our culture and medical practice that a serious challenge is indeed rare. In 2005, the World Health Organization officially classified oral contraceptives as Group I carcinogens (Group I being the most dangerous from Groups I-IV). A year later, a comprehensive meta-analysis published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, noted that 21 out of 23 studies found an increased risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer in women who had taken the pill prior to the birth of their first child. Overall this group of women experienced a 44% increased risk in developing breast cancer prior to the age of 50.

In 2012 Americans purchased over 500,000,000 condoms from grocery, drug and general merchandise stores. Traditional condoms are made using latex. They typically include casein filler, and use a water-based lubricant. Most conventional condoms also include chemical filler’s in the latex that include, Glycerin (causes/worsens yeast infection), Parabens (linked to many forms of estrogen-sensitive cancers), Nonoxynol-9 aka spermicide (damages sensitive vaginal and rectal tissue, which increases risk of HIV and STI transmission).

Spermicides and lubricants are no exception. The oil based ones have a much higher content of toxins in them than the water based ones. Additionally, as studies done by Project AIDS International show, lubricated condoms are routinely coated with talc and silicon, both carcinogenic and immunosuppressive substances when introduced into the body.

From a sustainability perspective the disposal of both, pills and condoms, can also take its toll on our environment. There is a growing concern over the presence of excess female hormones in water supplies (feminizing male fish for example), and our current technological limitations to process these synthetic hormones. The pill’s packaging, made of plastic and foil, is also not very eco-friendly.

Condoms represent 0.001 percent of the 152 million tons of trash American households produce annually. Though condoms can contribute to land fills, the bigger concern is about them not being disposed of correctly. Wrapping them in paper bags (not plastic) seems to be a more sustainable alternative. The global population growth of humans has a greater impact on global warming and other environmental issues than the condom waste.

STAY AWAY FROM:

  • Parabens (condoms)
  • Petroleum (condoms)
  • Glycerin (condoms)
  • Silicon (condoms)
  • Talc (condoms/lubricants)
  • Nonoxynol-9 (spermicides)
  • Parrafin (lubricants)
  • Casein (condoms)
  • Chlorhexidine (lubricants)
  • Lidocaine (lubricants)
  • Sodium borate (lubricants)

THUMBS UP FOR:

  • Natural Latex
  • Water-based lubricant
  • Non animal byproduct

 

Article From The Daddy Issue 2013