What is Contraception?

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Contraception , also know as birth control, is commonly used to help in the planning and prevention of pregnancy. Other reasons one may use contraception include prevention of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), skipping or regulating periods, or helping with symptoms of certain conditions, such as PCOS.

Whatever the reason, there are many types of contraceptives - too many for this Byte! General methods include barrier (i.e. condoms), hormonal (i.e. the pill), IUDs (a small device), and sterilization (i.e. surgical procedures).

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If you’re in a sexually active relationship, it’s important to have a conversation with your partner about contraceptives. Using the right type of protection can help in the prevention of STDs and unplanned pregnancies.

Having that conversation can be scary and uncomfortable. But it doesn't have to be! Read on for tips for talking to your partner about contraceptives.

Before The Conversation

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Do Your Research

Know the pros and cons of different types of contraceptives. Decide which ones you prefer and know the reasons why those are your top picks.

Plan for the Right Time

Choose a time to talk when you’re both not busy or preoccupied by other things. Right before sex is not the best time to bring it up. Instead, have the conversation some time before you have sex so that when you do have sex, you are protected.

During The Conversation

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Give Your Reasons

Be open and honest about why protection is important to you and why it's important that you talk about it together. Share the options you researched.

Ask for Support

What do you need from your partner? Are you asking them to use birth control? Or perhaps you need help paying for it. Let your partner know what you need and don't be afraid to ask for support. Remind them that using contraception benefits you both.

Get Your Partner's Perspective

Have they had a positive or negative experience with a certain method? Talk about their concerns. If your partner objects to using protection, clearly state your reasons again and let them know that if protection isn't used, you won't be having sex. In the end, make sure you come to an agreement about the type of protection you will use that you are both comfortable with.

Quiz

Your partner has had a negative experience with a method you want to start using. How should you respond?

I don't care.

Can you tell me more about it?

But I like this one the best.

Keep In Mind

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Watch Your Tone

Keep it positive and use “I” statements. Talk about the benefits of contraceptives for both of you. And avoid being judgmental.

Listen to Your Partner

Be aware that this may not be a comfortable conversation for you partner. So be prepared to listen and answer any questions your partner may have.

Don't Assume Anything

Don’t make assumptions about what your partner knows about birth control, or what their preferences are.

Quiz

Of the following, which is the best way to begin a conversation about contraception?

I'd like us to talk about contraception.

I don't want you to give me an STD.

No protection. No sex.

You need to go on birth control.

Summary

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If you're in a sexually active relationship (this includes anal and oral sex, not just vaginal), contraceptives are necessary to prevent STDs and unplanned pregnancies.

If you haven't talked to your partner about contraceptives, it's time to have that conversation!

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This Byte has been authored by

SB

Stephanie Booth

"I've learned that I still have a lot to learn." Maya Angelou