Trick question: the answer is YES. A thousand times yes.
With the male pill still far from an everyday reality, it remains us women who bear the brunt of preventing unplanned pregnancies. So, should your man be involved and know what birth control you use?
Reassuringly, a recent American study suggests that an overwhelming majority of men already do know what birth control their last partner used. But according to Cosmo US’s poll, 49% of men wish they knew more about birth control.
Frankly, when Bedsider.org tells us that “1 in 5 guys think that standing up while having sex is a viable form of birth control,” ladies – our work is far from done!
Your man should know what birth control you use. The benefits are far-reaching.
If you’re not talking about birth control with your partner, what other intimate topics are going undiscussed? Sexual health and STI checks? That’s an important one. How to bring each other between-the-sheets bliss? More orgasms are never a bad thing.
Beyond that, sharing intimate aspects of your lives and sexualities will bring you closer and nurture trust in your relationship.
Worried bringing up birth control will ruin the mood? Since 86% of men say sex is better when you’re not worried about getting pregnant, you can let go of that concern.
Raise your hand if you’ve forgotten to take your pill before.
It’s hard enough to remember to pick up milk at Sainsbury’s on your way home, let alone to take a pill every day around the same time.
Odds are your guy has a vested interest in avoiding a pregnancy too so use his motivation as a resource. Tell him what contraception you’re on, when you need to take it, and when it expires. Two people with reminders in their diaries is better than one.
You’re already spending your valuable time researching and sourcing birth control, so it’s great that you don’t also need to spend your money on most options in the UK.
But when expenses are unavoidable, be sure to open the dialogue with your partner. Using condoms? Go dutch at the very least. Paying for the morning-after pill from the chemist? Damn right the expense should be split.
Because if we don’t, he won’t
It’s our body, it’s our choice. But precisely because of this, some men feel it’s not their place to ask about birth control. According to Cosmo’s poll, “more than 7 in 10 men think if a woman wants a man’s opinion on birth control, she’ll ask.”
And if you’re hesitant because talking birth control feels too intimate, newsflash: his penis is going inside of you. How’s that for intimate?!
So, how do you do it?
It’s as simple as saying, “Let’s talk about what birth control we’re going to use.”
If you don’t know where to start with all the pills and patches and coils (oh my!), there is a treasure trove of online resources brimming with contraception information. Some are even geared specifically towards men.
Better yet, bring him with you to the clinic. As Dr. Rachel Weinerman told Reuters Health, “It takes both a man and a woman to get pregnant, so both partners should be aware of what they are doing to prevent pregnancy.”
Sure, when male birth control hits the market, the extra protection will be most welcome. But we can’t expect guys to involve us in discussions about their birth control if we don’t practice talking to them about ours first.