Practical ideas that Reduce Waste While Trying to Get Pregnant + Infographic

 
 

Going through the process of conceiving a baby can be a strenuous one. In my experience, struggling with fertility isn’t easy on many levels, and it is certainly not zero waste. My journey to sustainable living does impact my choices and purchasing habits in all areas of my life. With pregnancy being a current pursuit for my family, I thought it might be helpful to share my findings on how to reduce waste in today’s post.

Let’s be honest, plastic is not an absolute evil. I’d go as far as to say it gets a bit of a pass for medical use. I’m all about reusable products but there is a reason why plastic is sometimes a better option, especially when it comes to healthcare. Single-use medical products help prevent the spread of bacteria when sterilization is difficult. A very important thing to always consider when it comes to health despite your lifestyle choices.

That said, I have still tried my best to find solutions to reduce my waste while I am trying to get pregnant. After a while, the trash adds up and I’d like to do what I can where possible — so here I have a few solutions I’ve found along my journey to share with you.

You can reduce the amount of waste you create when trying to get pregnant by choosing strips instead of plastic ovulation tests, you can choose a biodegradable pregnancy test, use a menstrual tracker, use eco-friendly lube and low waste prenatal vitamins that come in a glass container and maybe try telemedicine when possible.

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Let’s talk about each of these solutions. It will make sense. I promise. If it doesn’t or you have better solutions, please let me know in the comments. I would love to learn from you.

Ovulation and pregnancy tests

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I have used so many ovulation tests in the last 7 years that I lost track. I imagine there is a big pile of them somewhere in the landfill. In the first few years, I used plastic ovulation tests that you can buy at the pharmacy. As soon as I started to live a low waste lifestyle, I switched to ovulation and pregnancy strips. Pregnancy tests produce 2 million pounds of waste each year. I believe it. Using the stripes instead of plastic tests is more sustainable.

I have tried many brands and I finally found one that I think works properly that I can trust. Bonus points that they are manufactured right here in Canada, are a female-owned and operated company, and hold themselves to the highest quality standards! They are from OVRY and they come in a combo box. You can order them separately too if necessary. I personally like the combo box where it has more ovulation tests (because you will need a LOT of those if you are anything like me) and a few pregnancy tests. All of their products are FDA-Cleared and compliant with strict regulatory requirements in the US and in Canada. They also donate a portion of each sale to charities that support women which is pretty neat. I reached out to OVRY a little over a month ago and they were gracious enough to offer me a discount code to share with you!

Use the code ZEROWASTE15 for a 15% discount on your order. If you do try them out, I’d love to hear what you think.

Menstrual tracker

If you really want to skip out on ovulation test waste, I suggest using a menstrual tracker. Depending on your situation and fertility, this could be a great option for you. There are so many different ones out there to manage your cycle that take your information from past cycles and symptoms to give you a more accurate reading. I have been using FLO, an app that is very comprehensive.

I have tried it for years, but and it takes a lot of time to get enough data in the app to make it accurate. Even still, if you have irregular cycles or other fertility challenges, that can’t always be taken into account by an algorithm. However, I found that it works best to use it in combination with ovulation strips to ensure things are good to go. What the menstrual tracker can do well is reduce the number of ovulation strips you will use but giving you a better idea of the ovulation window. Less is still always better!

Eco-friendly Lube

There is one lube that has been strongly recommended by our doctor and it is called Preseed. You can buy it on Amazon for a reasonable price here. I looked around for this lube and it is more expensive locally. It makes more sense to us to get it from Amazon because we have a prime membership. Unfortunately, this lube comes in a plastic container and it has a bunch of syringes that are not recyclable.

While I was researching for a zero waste lube I came across many suggestions to DYI. DO NOT DO THAT. There is a very sensitive balance that you do not want to mess up with. Some people recommend using coconut oil and aloe. I mean … if it works for you great but no, thank you. I’m trying to get pregnant not to end up with a UTI. There are definitely lubricants out there that are toxic to sperm too. You can save on waste by saving money on products that have the potential to inhibit fertility. Check out this article here to learn more.

There is one natural way that can help to cut down on your use of lube. Take your time when you have sex. Put on some music, kiss a lot, take the time to get excited. It feels good and costs nothing except some quality time. Do whatever makes you happy in the bedroom…or other places.

If you want an eco-friendly alternative that’s safe for sperm: for water-based, Sliquid H2O is an awesome eco-friendly choice. It’s the only water-based lubricant that is 100% glycerin-free, paraben-free, and vegan. They also have an aloe line and a silicone hybrid lube as well that are wonderful. If you prefer silicone Uberlube is a fantastic choice — it’s long-lasting and is made with pure silicone with a tiny bit of vitamin e for smoothness. It’s also gluten-free, vegan, cruelty-free, and contains no glycerin, parabens, or scents. Buying high-quality lubricants will significantly cut down on the amount you need to use too, it’s worth spending a bit more to save in the long run.

Low Waste Prenatal Vitamins

Again, there is no zero-waste option here but here are a few things you can look at for a low waste option. At the end of the day, the health of you and your baby should come first so there is no need to stress over this if you have a recommendation from your doctor. Just be sure to use them all completely and dispose of the packaging properly. Perhaps reuse the bottle for small-item storage when you travel.

If you are looking for a low-waste prenatal vitamin, you could try a brand that comes in a recyclable bottle. Solgar has a vegan prenatal that comes in a glass bottle with a metal lid that can be purchased through amazon. Wild Nutrition is also a great glass/metal combo packaged choice that is both vegan and cruelty-free.

I recently found out that prenatal vitamins are offered for free at my local pharmacy. It is worth checking if there is a similar program in your area.

Trips to Doctor’s Office

You will make many trips to the doctor’s office and there will be lots of paperwork. One way to be more efficient is to take public transport but honestly, I wouldn’t feel too comfortable during the pandemic.

For a consultation, you can see if it is possible to chat via a video chat app or even just via phone. We have been doing this during the pandemic quite a lot. Telemedicine is a thing now and it’s super convenient! Think about all the carbon emissions that will be saved from travel to check-ups that can be done from home. If that can’t be avoided and dependant on your doctor, you could book tests at the same time for you and your husband, to avoiding multiple trips.

You can also check if there is a way to receive all the paperwork via email or digitally. Some hospitals and clinics have their own applications and you can make an account with them through a privacy-protected system. It doesn’t hurt to ask!


I hope these small but mighty tips are of help in one way or another. If you aren’t able to follow them, no need to stress! I think a bit of part in all of this is starting the conversation about the waste surrounding pregnancy in general. In my opinion, anything health-related should ultimately be prioritized for us as humans over our product choices. There are so many other areas of life we can go green.

If you are pregnant or just had a baby, check out this article for new moms, dads and infants for zero waste ideas.

If you are interested in learning more about me and new ways to reduce your waste in areas of your life, please consider joining the community and subscribing to my newsletter!


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Hey, Claudia here

I am a senior graphic designer, a dog mom, an advocate for a zero-waste lifestyle, climate change, and sustainability. My articles are based on personal experience and well researched to give you the best source of information for all things zero-waste.