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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Question(s) about my previous/current methods..?

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Author Topic: Question(s) about my previous/current methods..?
the sea
Neophyte
Member # 47919

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(I'm sorry that this is long, and I'm sorry if any of it has been asked before... I searched around and couldn't find exactly what I wanted to know.)

I'm seventeen. Female.

I had a bit of a scare in the past, when my ex-boyfriend and I (stupid here, I know) just used a condom and it broke. Needless to say that wasn't exactly a good experience. I had to take an emergency contraceptive, and our relationship actually ended overall due to that mess.

I'm with someone else now. We are completely monogamous, have been for six months. We just started having sex. However, I'm still a bit of a freak about birth control. He's much, much more supportive about it than my ex and is willing to do whatever for me but I worry about it a lot.

I'm not on the pill. Although I wish I could be it's basically impossible for me.

So I have three questions.

One, are we generally pretty safe if we use a condom, a spermicide gel as a backup, and have him pull out?

Two, is spermicide even worth it as a backup, or are we essentially just wasting money since its effectiveness is relatively low?

And three, is it actually true you can ever only take four morning after pills? A friend told me that. Since I've already got one on my tally, unfortunately, I was curious about that, although I don't plan on having to take another.

Thanks for any help. I've done quite a bit of research, but I found that a lot of what I read was kind of conflicting. I just would like to have it set straight once and for all so my mind will be a bit more at ease and my boyfriend will quit having to spend so much darn money on me if he doesn't have to.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Using just TWO methods of contraception perfectly, no matter which two, gets you about as close to 100% effectiveness as it gets.

With the spermicide, it's the least effective form of contraception in both perfect and typical use. It also really can only work if a condom breaks, in which case I'd personally still suggest Plan B if your partner had ejaculated.

But if it makes you feel better, and you also don't have any allergic reactions to it (many people do), then I'd say that really is your call.

I don't know where your friend heard that about the morning after pill, but to date, there is no data that shows there's a limit on how often someone can take the MAP. For sure, we always want to watch our use of hormonal medications and try and be conservative about it, and the MAP is less effective than other methods, so if someone is using it a lot, they'd probably be better off using something more effective and less expensive.

Per what you said about the pill, do you want to talk about that? It's not for everyone (no one method is), but if this is about access to it you can't get and want, there may be solutions to that for you.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Karybu
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 20094

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Condoms are very effective on their own, and combining them with withdrawal - when both are used perfectly - ups that effectiveness to over 99%. Adding spermicide is fine if it gives you extra peace of mind, but since it only gets a chance to work if the condom breaks, and is less effective than either withdrawal or condoms used perfectly, it really isn't necessary. To boot, condoms when they're used properly very rarely break. When it comes to birth control, combining two methods is the way to go; anything else is pretty much overkill. (As I said though, if it makes you feel better, go for it.) Can I ask what it is about the pill that makes it a no-go for you? It's not the only hormonal method, and can often be obtained at low cost depending on your income, so if you wanted to try a hormonal method we can help you figure out how to do that.

As for what your friend told you about the morning after pill (emergency contraception) that is absolutely not true. There are no known long-term effects of EC, although since it is a big dose of hormones and can have some uncomfortable side effects, it's not a good idea to take it any more than you have to.

I'm going to link you to a few articles that should help clarify all this some more. If you have any more questions after you read them, come on back and we can talk some more.

Birth Control Bingo!
The Buddy System: Effectiveness Rates for Backing Up Your Birth Control With a Second Method

10 Common Myths, Misunderstandings and Big Ol' Lies About Emergency Contraception


Oops, Heather beat me to it!

[ 07-22-2010, 12:25 PM: Message edited by: Karybu ]

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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the sea
Neophyte
Member # 47919

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I'm unable to go on the pill not because of any reactions I would have, but because of my parents.

My mom wasn't supportive at all about the decisions I made with my ex.

I had planned on getting the MAP myself that time, but in the end I was unable to and had to ask her, about which she was pretty angry.

About the spermicide though... I guess I'm fine without it? I just wanted to hear that. If that's the case though I'll quit having him waste his money.
So long story short, she isn't aware I'm having sex with my new boyfriend and won't let me go on the pill.

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Karybu
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In terms of protection, spermicide won't likely add much, if at all, but if using it makes you feel more comfortable, then it's really up to you.

I'm so sorry your mom reacted the way she did when you needed the MAP. It's always good when you can be honest with parents, but sometimes that isn't possible. That said, there are ways you can get the pill or another hormonal method on your own if that's something you want, without needing your mom's permission, so if you want to talk about that, we're happy to help.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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You know you don't need a parent's permission to get contraception, yes?

For sure, if you don't want to go against their wishes, I respect that. But if you already are by using one or two methods when you'd rather be using something else, know you can get what method you want without their permission or approval.

With the spermicide, if you want my opinion, if you are using BOTH condoms and withdrawal perfectly, then the spermicide becomes moot, since it can only work when there is sperm present in the first place, and even in that capacity, EC is often more effective.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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the sea
Neophyte
Member # 47919

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Yes, I know I can get it without her.

It would be kind of difficult, but not exactly entirely impossible.

I've done a fair amount of reading up on PP, but I'm not exactly sure about what the cost would be for me, which is my main concern.

Getting it every month and also keeping it away from my mother wouldn't exactly be a slice of pie either.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Understood.

If you want to find out what it would cost, you can always call or stop into your local PP. They use a sliding scale based on your own income, so for some patients, that cost winds up being exceptionally low.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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the sea
Neophyte
Member # 47919

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I don't work, but I'm living with parents who do and I'm on their insurance.

I'm afraid that with what my family makes it would cost too much for me.

But thank you, I'll try to call sometime.

And thanks again for answering and all of the advice. I discovered your site about two weeks ago, and have been reading it quite a bit since then. I finally decided to just sign up, but it was during your volunteer break. I waited eagerly and here I am now [Big Grin]

What you do is really incredible, Heather. It's amazing how stingy people can be with information when it comes to teenagers, even in this day and age. It was awesome to find an honest, unbiased site like this.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Your parents income would not be considered here, only your own. So, worth a call just to see if you strongly would prefer a different method. [Smile]

Thanks so much for saying such lovely things! So glad to be able to do what we can! [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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