Why I changed to using vegan condoms and how it completely changed my sex life…for the better!
Recently I decided to come off my contraceptive pill after 10 long years. Although I didn’t have any particular problems with my pill – or so I thought – I wanted to get to know the real me without all those fake hormones, and to experience my natural cycle again.
As I’m not looking to start a family right now (this little puppy is more than enough thanks!) I needed to look into other methods of contraception…
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Your Contraception Options:
- Combined or Progesterone Only ‘Mini’ Pill:
More than 99% effective – daily dose
- Contraceptive Implant:
More than 99% effective – lasts 3 years
- Contraceptive Injection:
More than 99% effective – every 8-11 weeks
- Caps or Diaphragms:
92-96% effective – inserted when having sex
- Contraceptive Patch:
More than 99% effective – lasts 1 week
- IUD – Intrauterine Device (the ‘copper’ coil):
More than 99% effective – lasts 5-10 years
- IUS – Intrauterine System (hormonal coil):
More than 99% – lasts 3-5 years
98% effective – used when having sex
- Vaginal Ring (releases hormones):
More than 99% effective – lasts 1 month
- Female Condoms:
95% effective – inserted when having sex
- Natural Family Planning (fertility awareness):
Can be up to 99% effective
Please remember that the above list is for contraception.
Condoms are the only method that can prevent the spread of STI’s (sexually transmitted infections).
So if you’re having sex with a new partner then you’ll probably want to be using a condom anyway – yay safe sex!
Scroll down for the reasons why I find vegan condoms so much better than the usual brands…
When I saw this list (and all the options I had no idea existed!) I realised just how strongly womxn in the UK are shepherded towards hormonal contraception. And while its wonderful we now have the choice and option to take control of contraception ourselves, it seems that these days it’s very much considered ‘the woman’s responsibility’…regardless of side effects from the methods on offer.
I was tired of pumping my body full of fake hormones and not knowing where I ended and the pill began. I also felt frustrated that the only other options my doctor presented required me to physically inject myself on an 8 week basis, to cut open my skin and implant a hormone device or to have another foreign object inserted into my body.
Whilst I’m already tracking my BBT (basal body temperature) to get a bigger picture of my cycle, I didn’t want to rely solely on this as contraception…
…which brings us back to condoms.
*Editors Note: BBT tracking is mostly used by people trying to get pregnant. When you ovulate your body temperature drops slightly and then dramatically increases. If you’re aware of these fluctuations in your temperature then you can predict the best days to have sex and increase your chances of conception.
If like me you’re NOT looking to conceive, then knowing your most fertile days can also be helpful. On the fertile days you’re able to either avoid sex, or use an extra method of contraception such as the trusty ‘pull out’ method (can we find a better name for that please?!) as well as a condom.
…but Amelia, traditional condoms are HORRID!
I hear ya, I’ve never been a huge fan of condoms either. They’re thick and awkward, they STINK, you can lose sensation and even the packaging is garish. I get it.
*Not to mention that so many of us have experienced toxic men saying for years just how ‘awful’ condoms are for them ‘so its better if you just go on the pill and deal with all the side effects and stress…babe’ [insert eye roll emoji here]
Traditional condoms also contain a boat load of chemicals, glycerin that can cause an all manner of problems down there and for the most part aren’t biodegradable.
I had no idea until I started googling for something more gentle that vegan condoms even existed. I’m not a vegan myself, so the general use of animal byproducts doesn’t overly bother me. But putting chemicals and nasties inside the most sensitive part of my body, a part of my body that absorbs everything its exposed to? That bothers me.
So I ordered myself a box of organic vegan condoms from Hanx and set out…*ahem*…testing.
“Even today, in a world where our health and wellbeing matter more than ever, men that carry condoms are seen as studs but women are considered one pair of crotchless pants away from a red window in Amsterdam.” – Farah & Sarah, HANX
My Experience with Organic / Vegan Condoms
So how are vegan condoms different?
Well, for a start the brand I bought (Hanx) are developed by a gynecologist and are all natural – vagina friendly if you will!
No Parabens (those nasty synthetic chemicals used to preserve stuff)
No Animal Products – most condoms use casein, these use thistle extract
Certified Fair Trade Rubber from sustainable sources
…and they’re Biodegradable – you can pop them in your compost and they’ll start to decompose within 3 months.
They also don’t have that awful latex condom smell – they sort of smell like clean washing or baby powder which is awesome. Oh, and they look classy AF in their white and gold packaging!
These are super thin as standard (which FYI doesn’t make them any less effective) and the feeling is great. Of course it’s not as natural as sex without anything on, but for me (and my partner) it doesn’t change a lot in that dept. No complaints.
And best of all, I’ve had zero irritation or issues down there since switching to vegan condoms. I’m pretty darn sensitive which in the past has caused water infections, irritation and all sorts of issues after sex. But since coming off the pill and switching to vegan condoms my vagina has been the happiest she’s been in years!
They’re a game changer in the sex department and I honestly wish I’d made the switch earlier. It turns out the world of condoms has evolved just like the rest of us over the last 10 years, who knew ey.
A Note on Choosing to Come off the Pill…
Coming off the pill has been such an empowering journey for me and I’ve discovered so many things about my body I wish I’d known years ago. I also didn’t realise the side effects I was experiencing with my pill until I stopped taking it.
I’m so much less anxious now, my skin is clearer and things are just working down there a lot better. I’m wetter which makes things so much more comfortable and my libido has come back after a decade of thinking it was just me being a little bit broken.
If coming off the pill is something you’ve been thinking of, I’d highly recommend this book – Period Power – to help you understand how things work and the benefits of experiencing your natural flow. I’ll be doing a post on my experience soon, so be sure to follow along on social if you’re interested.
Your body, your rules. Whatever you decide.
For more honest period & body chats come follow me on Instagram @xameliax
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