5 Tips for Talking to Your Partner About Birth Control
The conversation about birth control is among the most important that you can have with your partner. While it’s not always an easy discussion, it’s one that you must have. Once you do, you both will likely be more comfortable in your relationship.
Although it’s vital, you may still feel lost and confused about how to have this talk with your partner. Here are five tips to guide the conversation about birth control and make it smooth.
1. Educate Your Partner About the Different Types of Birth Control
Your partner might not know much about birth control, or they may have some knowledge that will surprise you. If they’re entirely in the dark, that’s OK. That’s where you come in — to help them, educate them, and talk about how it affects the two of you.
Regardless of whether or not you’re already using birth control, you should have an open conversation about the various types. This will help both you and your partner decide which option is best. Your partner should also understand how each method of contraception works.
For example, the pill needs to be taken at the same time every day to be effective. It’s also helpful to know that the IUD is close to 100% effective. And did you learn various types of birth control can cause hormonal side effects? You should discuss these things that your partner may not know. After talking, you may decide to see a doctor or be comfortable exploring online birth control options.
2. Avoid Having the Conversation in the Bedroom
The conversation about birth control is severe and should be treated as such. Attempting to bring it up casually in the Bedroom probably won’t go over well. You will likely be distracted by other things happening in the heat of the moment. This could lead to miscommunication, arguing, or skipping the conversation entirely.
Instead, set aside a time when you can both sit down and have a discussion without interruptions. You might also talk about other things besides just your preferred method(s) of contraception. Talk about preferences, dislikes, and things that make you feel most comfortable. Ultimately, sex is more enjoyable when both people feel relaxed and connected. Having this conversation may help you get there.
And don’t be afraid to bring up barrier forms of contraception like condoms. Hormonal birth control is great for preventing pregnancy, but it doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). So it’s not an unreasonable request if you’re dating someone, especially if they’re a relatively new partner.
3. Talk About It Even if You’re Already On It
As previously stated, even if you’re already on birth control, you still need to have a conversation with your partner. Verbalizing things could be beneficial for both of you. Your partner may have a lot to learn, but chances are you’ll learn a thing or two yourself. Talking about it might even help you realize that a different method of birth control could be better for you.
In addition, don’t forget that part about STIs we discussed earlier. It’s not crazy to say, “I’m on the pill, but I’d feel better if you wore a condom and got tested.” Remember, sex is much more enjoyable for both people when there is a certain level of comfort. Using additional forms of contraception will ensure you’re both protected.
Whether talking about birth control or STIs, you must decide what you’re comfortable with and communicate that to your partner. The STI talk can seem like an entirely different ball game, and sometimes it’s a difficult conversation to navigate. But it’s best for both you and your partner to educate yourselves on how to prevent STIs.
4. Discuss Possible Scenarios and Various “What Ifs.”
During the birth control conversation, it’s likely that you’ll also discuss a few “what ifs.” That is, “What if a condom breaks?” or “What if I do, on the off chance, get pregnant?” Sometimes, you can take all the preventative measures and still come short.
How would you and your partner respond if your chosen birth control method(s) were to fail? This can be a tough and challenging conversation, but those are often the most important ones. You want to know that the person you’re with supports you, especially in difficult situations.
Mentioning the “what ifs” is also an effective way to encourage your partner to take birth control more seriously. Contraception is something you both should care about. Sometimes it just takes talking for your partner to realize the big deal. (Frustrating, yes — but also true.)
5. Know Your Preferences and Stand Firm on Them
Sticking to your guns is vital when having a birth control conversation. Yes, an open dialogue is essential; you should hear what your partner says. But at the end of the day, you decide what birth control option is best for you. Hopefully, your partner will be in your corner supporting you.
If the birth control talk results in a fight, that’s probably a poor reflection on the person you’re with. However, in these situations, it’s important to remember your values and stay true to who you are. If it’s meant to be, the conversation will work itself out. But it may be time to reconsider the relationship if they can’t meet you where you’re at. Just remember, don’t cave!
A partner who cares about you will care about the critical conversations, too. If being on birth control is essential at this time in your life, you shouldn’t hesitate to talk about it. Use these tips to help guide the discussion. When you’re prepared, the conversation is sure to flow more naturally.