We want to talk about birth control, but we don’t know how. How can we discuss it and not feel awkward?
It may feel awkward at first, but talking to your partner about birth control can make your sex life safer and more fun. Look at your birth control options and talk about which ones might work best for you as a couple. Just knowing you’re both protected can make sex between you more relaxed and enjoyable.
As a bonus, learning to communicate more openly about sex with your partner can help you strengthen your relationship in other ways.
My partner might be pregnant. What do we do now?
Unplanned pregnancy can be scary. The first step is to have your partner take a pregnancy test. You can get them at a grocery store or drug store. If it’s positive, talk to your partner about how you can be supportive. If it’s negative, talk about your birth control options. Using a really effective birth control method can help you avoid future scares.
No matter how the pregnancy test turns out, safer sex is a team effort. If it’s negative, this is a great time to look at your birth control options. You can go to a health center separately or together, and it’s a great chance for you both to get tested for STIs as well. If her pregnancy test is positive, she might experience a mix of emotions, but it can be helpful to let her know that you’re willing to support her in whatever way you can.
You can also work together to tell your parents. That’ll be a tough conversation—and they’ll probably have a lot to work through, too. But pregnancy isn’t something anyone, even adults, wants to go through alone, and parents can ultimately be a big help.
My partner and I haven’t had sex yet, but we’re getting bored with our usual routine.
If you’re feeling bored, there are lots of ways to spice up your routine that don’t cross each other’s sexual boundaries. Here are a few ideas.
If you decide to have sex, you should decide together. Make sure you include birth control in your game plan.
No matter what, remember that open and honest communication is the key to a healthy relationship.
Do I need to go with her to the health clinic? I’m not the one that needs birth control.
Safe sex is a team effort. You don’t need birth control, but you and your partner do need to get tested for STIs. Getting tested and getting your partner an effective birth control method ensures you will have safe and protected sex. Nothing makes sex more enjoyable than knowing you are being safe and preventing a possible pregnancy—who wants sex to be full of worry about “what ifs”? So long story short, you don’t have to go…but you definitely should.
Things got a little too hot too fast and we didn’t use birth control. Should I be worried?
It’s okay to be worried when things go too fast; sometimes we just get lost in the moment. To be on the safe side, you should take emergency contraception to reduce your chance of pregnancy. The sooner you take it, the more effective it is. You may also want to consider STI testing if you don’t know your partner’s status.
Now, a word about NEXT time: Although the morning after pill can be effective, there are better forms of regular birth control. If you plan to keep having sex, learn more about the birth control options you can use after you’ve worked out this emergency.
The condom broke! I don’t want to get pregnant. What should I do?
Don’t panic! Emergency contraception can help! Even though some people call it the “morning after pill,” you can use it for up to five days after you’ve had sex.
So how does it work? Emergency contraception keeps you from ovulating, which means an egg and a sperm can’t meet to make a baby. It’s not an abortion pill.
If you’re 17 or older, you can buy emergency contraception over the counter at a drug store. If you’re under 17, visit a health center closest to you for a prescription.
Remember, although the morning after pill is very effective, it should not be used as a regular form of birth control. After you’ve worked out this emergency, learn more about good, routine, birth control options.
Learn how emergency contraception works and where to get it.
My partner wants me to text him naked pictures of my body. Should I?
Spoiler alert: Sending nude photos to anyone rarely ends well. There are also legal implications if you’re under 18 or if someone under 18 sees them—both of you could get in a lot of trouble. Never text naked or revealing pictures of yourself to anyone.
There’s more than just the law to consider. What happens if you and your partner eventually break up? Would you still trust him with your naked pictures then? What if he puts them online or shares them? What if someone tries to use them against you?
My partner is pressuring me to have sex, but I just don’t want to.
No. Just no. Pressure is never okay.
Never be afraid to stand up for yourself. What you do with your body is your choice and your choice only. But it can be intimidating to reject your guy. So here are a few ways to get the conversation started. And if he still refuses to hear you out and pressure you, dump him and move on.
If you ever get to the point where you feel that pressure might be verging on abuse, it’s time to call in reinforcements. Talk to someone you trust—a health care provider, Mom or Dad, a sister or friend. If you need an anonymous sounding board, check out the National Teen Dating Abuse helpline. Call 1-866-331-9474 or 1-866-331-6453 or text LOVEIS to 77054.
My partner and I are ready to have sex, but he doesn’t want to use a condom.
Having unprotected sex is risky business. If your partner doesn’t feel comfortable using a condom, there are many other birth control options – like the pill, the shot or the ring – that you can use to prevent pregnancy.
But not all birth control protects you from STIs. So if you have sex without a condom, make sure you and your partner get tested first at a health center and are free of STIs.
And always remember—It’s never cool for your partner to pressure you into something you’re uncomfortable with. If you don’t feel comfortable having sex without a condom, you have to stand up for yourself and put on the brakes.
Is pulling out a way not to get pregnant? My partner says it works.
Pulling out can be really dangerous! First, guys can ejaculate a little bit inside you without realizing it. Or they can get totally lost in the moment and forget to pull out. Second, new research shows that some guys have sperm in their pre-ejaculate, meaning you could get pregnant or an STI even if he does a perfect pullout. Here’s a full medical rundown on the withdrawal method.
To stay safe and reduce the risk of an unplanned pregnancy, there are many more effective birth control methods you can use.
If a guy cums near my vajayjay but not inside me, can I still get pregnant?
Crazier things have happened! Although it is unlikely, it’s still possible.
If any of your guy’s cum—aka, his ejaculate—gets in your vagina, it’s possible to get pregnant. Therefore, any contact that could allow semen to get into your vagina carries some risk of pregnancy.
The best way to reduce this risk is by using birth control. If used correctly, you won’t have to worry about an unplanned pregnancy.
I’ve decided to wait to have sex with my partner, but it is really hard—he is so hot!
Totally normal! It’s really common for your body to want sex, even if you’ve made the decision to hold off for now. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, though.
Remember, lots of teens don’t have sex—for lots of different reasons. Talk with your partner about the decisions you’ve made about sex. Open and honest communication is the key to a healthy relationship. In the meantime, you can try lots of other sexy things that don’t involve actually having sex. Here are some ideas.
I’m on birth control. Does my partner still need to wear a condom?
It’s great that you’re taking steps to have safer sex. But it’s not just your responsibility; it’s his, too. Birth control prevents pregnancy but not the transmission of STIs. Has he been tested for STIs? If not, ask him to be! And even if your birth control is used properly, there is a chance it can fail. Condoms can provide a back-up way to make sure you don’t get pregnant and to prevent the transmission of STIs.
To get tested, make an appointment at a health center.
Learn about all the birth control methods through the Playbook.
I’m feeling a lot of pressure from my partner to have sex.
Having sex is an important decision that you need to be comfortable with—even if you’ve had sex before. Sex is a decision that needs to be right for both of you!
Sex is something you should enjoy, not feel obligated to do. Pressure and coercion are signs of an unhealthy relationship. If your partner is pressuring you, it might be a sign that this isn’t the right relationship for you.
Are two condoms better than one?
Nope! Don’t double bag it!
Two condoms offer LESS protection! The friction created between them makes it likely that both condoms will break. Be sure to only use one condom and use it exactly as directed on the package.
We’re too embarrassed to get birth control.
No worries! You have lots of options.
First, know that the check-out guy at the store probably isn’t paying much attention when you buy condoms. If you really can’t stand to interact with another human when you’re buying birth control, there’s always the self-checkout line! Health clinics also offer condoms; you can also buy them online.
If you’re visiting a medical provider to get birth control, you have a lot of privacy protections. State law protects your right to see a doctor about birth control in private no matter how old you are.
Know your legal and confidentiality rights as a teenager.
Health care providers get questions about sex all the time. They know you might be embarrassed and are ready to answer your questions. Many medical providers are even specially trained to answer teens’ questions and help you feel comfortable getting the answers you need.
We’re out of condoms! Now what?
It may seem impossible to say no in the heat of the moment, but remember that protecting yourself is super important! Condoms are the only type of birth control that protect both you and your partner against pregnancy and STIs.
Running out of condoms doesn’t mean the fun has to stop, though; there are many sex-free ways you can still enjoy sexy time with your partner. See what they are.
We’re married, so my husband and I don’t need to worry about birth control, right?
Congrats on tying the knot! But you can definitely still get pregnant, or even get an STI. Married couples use birth control ALL. THE. TIME. If you’re not quite ready to start a family, explore your different birth control options. Be sure you’re both comfortable with the responsibilities of having unprotected sex, and make sure skipping birth control is a mutual decision.
One of us is ready to become a parent, while one of us is not so sure. Where can we find middle ground?
Having a baby is a big decision. Talking with your significant other about becoming parents is important, and the decision should be mutual. If one of you feels you aren’t ready, it’s best to wait. Being financially, physically and emotionally ready for a baby is a big decision you should be absolutely sure about.