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Author Topic: I think I'm probably ready...
soccer06
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Hi,

I feel like i'm probably ready for sex sometime soon. My boyfriend and I have been together for a LONG time and have been friends for YEARS before that. I really trust him, just like I trust him with other types of sex (not vaginal yet, which I think I'm ready to try sometime soon).

I would just like to be talked to about contraception methods and everything so i'm completely ready and my chance of getting pregnant is minimized. I have been on the pill for about 2 months and i've takin it once in a 3 hour time frame, but I usually take them around 3 hours of each other. We want to use condoms and probably the pull out method, as I don't want him to actually ejaculate inside me (to calm me down mentally).

I would just like some imput and kind of a talk about the liklihood of becoming pregnant, how to use everything correctly and anything else you'd like to add. Thanks so much!

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soccer06
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Also,
I know that sometimes condoms can have microscopic holes in them. Is there a way that I can check for them before we do anything? Is it possible that I can fill it up with water or blow into them (to check for air holes) beforehand so we could get a new one if needed?

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Redskies
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Hi soccer06,

I certainly agree that getting all the information we can is a really great, responsible and wise path to take [Smile] There's quite a bit of info around the site on contraception generally - have you had a look at it? Maybe you'd like to have a bit of a read around for yourself, and then come back with any questions you have or specific issues you'd like to discuss.

First, there's this resource which covers contraception generally. You can click options to discover what kinds of contraception might suit you, or you can choose to read about specific contraception options: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/sexuality/birth_control_bingo

Here's an article all about condom use: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/boyfriend/condom_basics_a_users_manual
Condoms shouldn't have holes in them. The "microscopic hole" thing is a myth - we can thoroughly expect condoms Not to have holes, and there should be quality control checks in place so that any faulty stock isn't sold. Condoms should be stored where they won't get damaged (say, don't put them in the same pocket in your bag as loose earrings - yep, done that [Smile] ), not in extreme temperatures, and not in your pocket every day. If you quickly check the condom wrapper before opening, you should be able to see easily if there's any physical damage - obviously, if there is, don't use that condom. Don't fill a condom with water or air before use, as they're designed to unroll directly onto a penis. I also suggest just trying out opening a condom, having a look, and unrolling it onto something just in your own time, away from sex, so you can get used to it and feel you know what you're doing before you're actually doing this to prevent pregnancy.

Here's an article about using more than one form of contraception, which it sounds like you want to do, and how effective the combinations are:
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/reproduction/the_buddy_system_effectiveness_rates_for_backing_up_your_birth_control_with_a_s

And, on top of what's available from the Birth Control Bingo article, here's a bit more info about how the pill works: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/reproduction/how_do_birth_control_pills_really_work_even_during_the_placebo_period There are also links from that article to even more info on the pill, if you like.

Obviously, what methods you use and whether your partner ejaculates inside you is your choice. It's worth mentioning, though, that it's best to be cautious about using condoms and withdrawal together, as it's not a good combination for everybody - if we're trying to use withdrawal in a hurry, there's a chance of not holding onto the condom properly while withdrawing, and then if the person with a penis ejaculates at that point, then neither condom or withdrawal has been used effectively. If two methods of birth control are being used properly (for example, the pill and condoms), as you can see from the "buddy" article, the risk of pregnancy becomes about as small as it's possible to get while still engaging in that kind of sex, so it's not strictly necessary to add a third method. If a person feels more comfortable adding a third method, so long as none of the methods interferes with each other, there's no harm in doing so.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Onionpie
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Hi soccer06! It's good to hear that you're being so safe around this, and making sure that you feel ready for any kind of sex before you participate in it.

Firstly, how about you read the following articles, as they should cover most of this for you, and then we can discuss any questions you have after that [Smile] My apologies if you've already read some/all of them.

Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist
First Intercourse 101
Condom Basics: A User's Manual
The Buddy System: Effectiveness Rates for Backing Up Your Birth Control With a Second Method

That last article will tell you the effectiveness of any pairing of birth control you may use. If you use the pill, condoms, and withdrawal method properly, you will have around 99-99.99% effectiveness. Which is pretty darn effective [Wink]

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soccer06
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I will make sure to read all of them and ask any more questions after doing so. I've been looking at other responses (on the internet and on this website) and have a question. Is it true that people really won't get pregnant if they use the methods correctly?
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Robin Lee
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HI soccer06,

Well, whenever someone has penis-in-vagina intercourse, or some other variation of penis-to-vulva contact, there is always *some* risk of pregnancy, no matter what birth control methods are used. That's part of the risk we choose to take on when we choose to become sexually active in those ways. The article RedSkies linked you to about the "buddy system" will give you an idea of which methods are most effective. Protection is never 100% though.

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Robin

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soccer06
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Why aren't condoms 100% effective if they are used perfectly?
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Heather
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Effectiveness rates for EVERY method are not determined per-single use or per each person, but in one full year of use for large groups of people.

NO method is 100% effective -- condoms or anything else -- for a broad group of people in one full year of use. More specifically, those rates are for every 100 people in one year of use.

Make more sense now?

[ 07-12-2012, 06:01 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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soccer06
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I guess I'm just confused on if there can't be microscopic holes in the condoms for semen to get through (like I asked earlier), how do 4 women still get pregnant each year out of every 100 when they were used perfectly? What things could have gone wrong?
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moonlight bouncing off water
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Lots od things can go wrong. The problem with testing condoms and other methods of birth control, or rather the problem with the accuracy of these tests, is that testing condoms during intercourse isn't quite something you can do in a laboratory with lots of instruments for measuring. So things like the condom slipping, not being put on properly, or not being used at all (but people still reporting that it was used) are bound to happen. Plus sometimes (very rarely I might add) condoms have defects and can break (this is very obvious though and resembles a popped baloon). Most of the time, though none of this does happen and the protection does work.

And the 4 people out of every hundred getting pregnant? That's for typical use (what I described above) not perfect use. The reason that it isn't 100 percent for pefect use is because, quite frankly, that is impossible.

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Heather
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The whole idea that condoms have "microscopic holes" is one that originated with and was perpetuated by abstinence-only misinformation as well as people spreading HIV/AIDS misinformation back in the day. It is not based in fact. Latex, as a material, is one which microorganisms cannot get through.

Please remember that perfect use of condoms just means following the directions and using them consistently.

But even when directions are followed, condoms still slip off or break sometimes, and that's how they fail. So, when they fail with perfect use, it's rarely even about manufacturing issues, but instead, about slip-offs or breaks.

Also, just to clear things up, the typical use rate of condom use isn't 96% (neither is the perfect use rate). Typical use is around 85-86% and that INCLUDES people not using them at all, only putting them on after intercourse has started, applying them improperly, etc. Perfect use is 98%, and that means following the directions to the letter and always using them.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet 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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soccer06
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Okay! That makes a lot more sense. I assumed that if they were used perfectly, nothing broke or slipped off, that they were still 98% effective. Thanks for clearing that up!

basically, if you're using them right (following directions) and slipping or breaking doesn't happen, you've been protected. Correct?

Can you explain this same thing with typical and perfect use of the pill? (I've read pretty much all of the OCP articles, but just had the questions about this and condoms. Thanks!

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Heather
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Yep.

Comparing the effectiveness of a method like the condom -- where it's something used only at the time, and can be evaluated per use, and when it's also clear if it's failed -- and the pill is tricky stuff.

But again, typical use accounts for people not following directions, which includes not using the pill at all, but saying that is the method they use. Perfect use means following the directions and taking the pill AS DIRECTED.

But even when people do that, sometimes the pill won't work due to metabolic issues, etc.

But seriously, here is the thing: more than one method used consistently and correctly? Someone doing that is not even remotely likely to become pregnant. Please understand that a majority of people in the world do NOT use more than one method of contraception consistently and correctly, especially over years, rather than days, weeks or months. If people did that (and all people even could: access to contraception is not a minor issue, it's major, especially outside developed nations and the upper and middle classes of any nation), our rates of unplanned pregnancy would be RADICALLY different than the rates we have.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet 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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soccer06
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Thanks so much. So basically, if I use both the pill and a condom, the methods almost will not fail at all if I use them correctly?

I guess you always hear stories about "he used a condom, but she still got pregnant" and the same thing with the pill which sometimes make me believe that it's kind of a "hit or miss" chance. But the probability is almost 100% user error, right? Thanks so much for your help! [Smile] I seem to overthink things like this..but you've really helped clear things up!

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soccer06
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And I guess i've also been really hesitant becasue statistics i've heard about show a pretty high rate in unplanned teen pregnancies (i've heard 1 in 20 teens)
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Heather
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Like that link shared with you said, the combined effectiveness of those two methods is 99.99% effective with perfect use - 98.8% effective with typical use. That's about as close to 100% as it gets.

And really, a lot of those stories are pretty suspect. I always try and remind people that for an awful lot of women, telling the truth, the whole truth, about how a pregnancy happened is a real problem, and not because they're jerks. We just don't live in a world, and some folks REALLY don't, where all truths about a pregnancy are equally acceptable and people will be supported.

There is nothing hit or miss about dual contraception. Instead, it is VASTLY more likely to NOT result in pregnancy than it is. It is WAY more random, if a comparison helps, that wearing a seatbelt won't mean in a car wreck, you get no injuries.

But like we also often explain, if someone is not okay with ANY risk at all of a pregnancy, even the tiniest one possible, and they have a choice in sex, then it's usually best for them to choose to avoid the kinds of sex that present those risks until they DO feel okay about that.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet 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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