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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Using Condoms only with partner?

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Author Topic: Using Condoms only with partner?
tbelle
Activist
Member # 32076

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My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years and we've only been using condoms as a form of birth control.

My question is, supposedly condoms are 98% effective when used correctly. I understand that they can fall off or break. This has only happened to us once.

But every time we have sex I'm always extremely worried about getting pregnant even if we used condoms. This is because when he takes the used condom off, he usually cuddles up next to my body and his penis comes into contact with my vagina. So obviously some of his semen will get on my skin, but his penis is not going inside me. It's extremely difficult to prevent him from accidentally touching me like this (and it also sucks to not cuddle or to put on a condom every time you're near each other).

Does that present an actual pregnancy risk? When I say actual I do not mean a 1-in-a-million chance. Is this dangerous?

I am afraid to start taking the pill for many reasons. I don't like the idea of altering my body's hormones permanently just because I want to have sex with someone I may not even marry.

We used to have sex like once a month, mainly because of my anxiety. This hurt our relationship and I'm trying to calm down and enjoy sex more, because I do enjoy it if I'm not worrying all the time. Do other women feel this way and how do you deal with it?

[ 02-15-2012, 02:42 PM: Message edited by: tbelle ]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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If his penis isn't having direct contact with your vulva, vagina or anus (which isn't likely to happen with just cuddling), there isn't a risk. And if that's not a risk you want to take, you can simply ask him not to cuddle you in such a way where you're taking that risk, to leave the condom on while he does that, or to just slide his boxers/underpants on for that.

Alternately, we can certainly talk about contraception options with you. The pill doesn't change anyone's body permanently like you're saying, but the pill also isn't your only option in a second method of contraception.

And if none of that sounds like that'd help you with this, we may be talking about a bigger issue than just concern about pregnancy, like an anxiety issue that's more broad, relationship issues, etc.

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tbelle
Activist
Member # 32076

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I have read about the other methods but they either seem like a major hassle (like the ring) or they have serious side effects. I remember seeing news stories about the patch and how some women had strokes or heart attacks. I'm just really hesitant about medicating myself like that and not really knowing how it will affect my body.

Also, most of the 'safer' methods of birth control such as the pill are to be used by the female only. It seems like a double-standard. Why does the woman have to go through all the trouble of taking this BC, while the guy just sits back, has no responsibility, and is worry-free? It just doesn't seem fair to me. I know this is just a personal belief of mine but it does bother me. If two people were going to get married then I think it would be more fair. Or better yet, if you're going to want to have children then you don't need BC at all.

I guess I am okay with just sticking to the condom for now, and hopefully I can lessen my fears about getting pregnant. Since I feel like I am only dating this person, I don't feel like committing to hormonal birth control. Condoms seem good since they are portable, don't use hormones, and are not much of a hassle to use. Plus, the guy and the girl both take part in it.

The BC methods that use hormones make me really hesitant. The non-hormonal methods just aren't as safe, apparently, since they only rely on a physical barrier.

[ 02-15-2012, 10:10 PM: Message edited by: tbelle ]

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WesLuck
Activist
Member # 56822

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Well, the reason why there hasn't been a male hormonal treatment yet is because it has proved, medically, to be a lot harder - you must stop all of the millions or billions of sperm cells in the semen from being created, whereas on the female side you just need to use hormones to make the body think that the body has already menstruated. Stopping one ovum that gets released approximately once a month in a cycle has been much easier than preventing the production of all the sperm-filled semen that is normally created in the male *constantly* at a very rapid rate.

Btw: do you know that everything that you take into your body affects its chemical composition? This includes food.

[ 02-16-2012, 08:43 AM: Message edited by: WesLuck ]

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Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

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What you do with your body is entirely up to you.

Here are some things to think about though:

I'm sure you know that media loves hyping things up. So while there have been some women who have had serious problems while using the patch, it's likely not as dire as the news stories you saw made it out to be. Also, the pros and cons with any method are really person specific. It can be hard to evaluate whether a method will be safe for oneself without consulting a doctor, who can take one's medical history, current health, etc, into consideration.

With hormonal methods, there *are* people who shouldn't be using them. The doctor decides this on a very individual basis. As Heather said, hormonal methods have not been shown to alter the body on a long-term or permanent basis.

There are alternatives to hormonal methods though, such as combing condom use with the withdrawal method, having a non-hormonal IUD inserted, or charting your cycle (fertility awareness method) in addition to using the condoms. Are any of these things you'd like to discuss more? have you taken a look at our
Birth Control Bingo!
article?

One more thing: People who marry and do want children often use birth control to plan their families. Perhaps they don't want children right away, or only want a certain number of children. Make sense?

And you're right, it's not fair that birth control usually falls on the shoulders of women. Unfortunately, that's where the medical research and development has mostly been, and when it comes right down to it, pregnancy or potential pregnancy does affect our bodies the most so if we want control over that it's good to know we can control that control ourselves. Just an alternate point of view with a very complex issue. [Smile] The withdrawal method I mentioned above the man does have to participate fully. [Smile]

It's no fun to feel anxious (about anything at all) and have that interfere with a relationship and sexual pleasure. Do you want to talk more about that?

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Robin

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