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3 Simple Tips For Talking To Your Partner About Birth Control (And What You Need To Know Before You Start)

how to talk to your partner about using birth control
Self, Health And Wellness

Let's talk contraceptives.

Your relationship is moving forward and you two are either thinking about getting intimate, or are already moving into that realm. Or maybe you’re already active with your partner but you need some relief from irregular periods.

It’s time to talk about birth control. Will you stick with condoms? Will you add in the pill? Maybe you’re thinking about an IUD or the shot. Could the ring be right for you? Ever heard of birth control sponges?



RELATED: A Guide To The Best Birth Control For Every Type Of Woman


Here’s a quick overview of what’s on the market with some information about the pros and cons for you and your relationship, including how to talk about birth control with your partner.


Condoms

These are your pregnancy and STD prevention all-in-one solution. Additionally, condoms do not contain hormones. Perhaps the best part, aside from their effectiveness, is that they come in different textures and flavors. There are even female condoms which, yes, you insert rather than putting on him or a toy.


The Pill

Among hormonal birth control options, the pill is very well known. While it does not prevent STDs it is over 90% effective at preventing pregnancy. You will need to remember to take it every day for it to be so effective, though. Know, too, that hormonal options may have side effects involving mood, weight, and more.  


The Ring

Instead of ingesting a pill you might opt for the ring, which is inserted into the vagina. Rather than worrying about it daily, you really just need to keep track of insertion and removal dates. If you’re concerned that it will impact your experience, don’t be.


The Shot

If you don’t want to worry so much about needing to remember something daily or every three weeks, the shot might be for you. Just make sure you go to your appointment to get it every three months and you’ll be set!


The Patch

This birth control method is similar to the pill, ring, and shot, but does not require ingestion or insertion of any kind. Rather, you absorb hormones from the patch through your skin.


Sponges

The sponge is far smaller and more comfortable than you think. It’s not like a bath sponge or a kitchen sponge at all; it’s a small insert filled with spermicide that is placed right up against the cervix opening. The important thing to remember is to have them on hand for when things get hot and heavy.


Implant

While not permanent, the implant is an excellent solution for people planning to not get pregnant for several years since it lasts up to four. You will need to have your doctor insert the device at first and remove it when you no longer need its protection or you’re having it replaced.


Intrauterine Device (IUD)

Another low-maintenance option is the IUD, which comes in hormonal and non-hormonal varieties. As with the implant, a medical professional will need to insert and remove the device on your behalf. The good news is that this device can protect you from pregnancy for more than a decade, is super effective, and its effects reverse quickly should you be ready to start a family.


Surgical Options

If you are 100% sure that you don’t wish to have children, nor will you in the future, you or your partner can invest in tubal ligation or a vasectomy. Keep in mind that these options are rarely reversible.


RELATED: Do You Ovulate On Birth Control? How Your Menstrual Cycle Really Works On The Pill


The above list is by no means exhaustive. You could also look into spermicides, for instance. Keep your guard up though, because there is a lot of misinformation out there. Don’t be fooled when someone tells you that you can’t get pregnant on your period — that’s patently false for a variety of reasons.

Let’s get to the part about talking to your partner.


RELATED: 6 Ways Birth Control Would Be Totally Different If MEN Took It Daily


You might want them to be aware of your birth control preferences, what you’re already taking, or maybe you just need to have a serious conversation about family planning. Whatever the reason for sharing this part of your journey with your partner, you can find some helpful tips below.


1. Explain why you want or need birth control.

Be clear about why birth control and this conversation is important to you. If your partner truly values you then they will prioritize the things that matter to you, keep you healthy, and enrich your life.

Are you concerned about pregnancy and not being ready to have a baby? Are your periods unbearable? Is acne affecting your self-esteem? Most partners will appreciate being clued into your decision making process.


2. Tell your partner how they can be helpful.

Your partner wants to be supportive, but they may not necessarily know what that looks like. Do you need them to help watch out for side effects when you start a hormonal birth control? Do you want them to go with you to an important appointment, for instance, to get the implant inserted?

Don’t hesitate to ask for what you need or want as you make this very important decision.


3. Ask what is important to your partner.

Have they found negative information about one form of birth control or the other? Is there anything about a given method that scares them? Your partner doesn’t have the right to make this decision for you, but showing that you value their feelings will go a long way.

Finally, not everyone is accustomed to talking openly about birth control, especially if they were raised in more conservative homes. If you or your partner comes from a particularly conservative background or knows very little about these topics, make sure you account for time to learn, process, and even experiment. Just keep the condoms handy if and until you find something else that works for you.


RELATED: 12 Women Describe What It REALLY Feels Like To Get An IUD Inserted Into Them


Danielle Martin-Jensen is a writer from the Central Coast of California. She covers zodiac and astrology topics along with writing on love and relationships. Her interests include research and technology, cultural studies, psychology, and demography.