What Birth Control Method Do You Use?
Let’s talk about sex, shall we? Ever since the fascinating and instructive conversation we had here on No More Dirty Looks a few weeks ago about going off the pill and the perils therein, there’s been a raging conversation going among some of my girlfriends about what to do about not getting pregnant unless you’re ready.
Some are still on the pill. One is ready to come off it but doesn’t know what to do. Some just use condoms. Some do the pull-out thing. Some track their cycle and are super careful around ovulation but loose the rest of the month. There’s some variety, but not much.
I recently read the new Jeffrey Eugenides book The Marriage Plot (thumbs up, for the most part) and was amused that the lead female is in college and uses a diaphragm. Maybe people still use these, I don’t know, but I certainly don’t know anyone who does, and I get why. There’s a scene in the book where she has to go put it in after they start making out and, well, they’re both sort of bummed about that and they stop. Admittedly, the book was written by a man, and I find it annoying when men complain about the inconvenience of birth control—not that he was complaining! it’s a novel! and her boyfriend was on Lithium!—unless he’s a real prince about using condoms. But there’s no getting around the fact that the diaphragm does seem to me like an especially unpleasant option, requiring either foresight or a “wait right here” moment, both of which can kill the mood. (The book, to be fair, is set in the 1980s.) At the same time, it’s a non-hormonal option, so it’s got that going for it.*
These days, there’s a buffet of safety** options (“I’m a safety girl!”) … right? I know I’m not breaking news when I say they’re all rather imperfect. I mean, no one loves condoms, and most of you who were on the pill had some complaints. Which is why we want to hear from you guys. We were taught about “family planning” in high school, which was a while ago now, and I have to assume there are people out there who have come up with semi-satisfactory systems for themselves, right? I keep hearing amazing things about the non-hormonal IUD, for instance, but then I hear sometimes it makes you spot every day. Point being, we’re curious!
Before we open the floor to you, another disclaimer: We are not doctors or family-planning experts; we’re just women and men chatting about what works, or doesn’t work, for us. You should consult your doctor or health care practitioner before making any changes. Nothing we’ve said here constitutes medical or family-planning advice, and nothing said in the comments should be taken as such either.
Now go ahead and post—anonymously if you want, by all means, and we want to hear from the men around here too: What method, device, drug or strategy do you use to prevent pregnancy?
* Whoever guesses the movie reference without googling will have our undying love.