Contraception is hardly a romantic word and it's not something that most of us particularly enjoy to think about. Making love is of course a highly passionate and romantic act that happens 'in the moment' and brings two people closer together it can feel like a dream or a Disney movie but then talk of contraception can bring that dream crashing back down to Earth.
Of course though what you need to bear in mind is that this is of course a highly necessary discussion and one that everyone should have and if you fail to have it then you can risk being brought back down to Earth in a much more serious and distressing way. Unplanned pregnancies and STIs aren't romantic either...
And if you get your contraception right then it really needn't get in the way of the romance all that much in fact it can sometimes enhance the experience and bring you closer together. Let's have a look at what your options are.
Condoms are perhaps the most well known option when it comes to contraception and are the 'de-facto' method that many of us will fall back on. This is because they're inexpensive, non-invasive, cheap and easy to carry around and implement with no long term consequences. Of course the downside though is that they need to be taken out and put on, and that they numb the sensation and require a pause in the build up to your big embrace. These are most suited to people who aren't in a long-term relationship, and who sleep with more than one partner. Note that women can use condoms too, and that some can be flavoured or textured to try and enhance the experience.
The contraceptive pill is an alternative solution that is well suited to long-term couples who have been dating a while. Here the woman will use the pill in order to prevent getting pregnant and this will do away with the need for condoms after you have both been tested. However it's important to note that contraceptive pills will only protect you from pregnancy not from STIs so they aren't a condom replacement. Likewise you should note that they can cause hormonal changes and may not be suitable for those who are above a weight limit. They can be used in conjunction with condoms to further diminish the likelihood of an accidental pregnancy.
If you struggle to remember to use the pill, but are certain you won't want to get pregnant within the next few years, then an implant is a suitable alternative. This basically means having a device implanted that will gradually release a steady stream of hormones thereby performing the same role as the pill without the need for an active role of the woman. They can be painful though, and they can cause the same side effects that the pill can.
A vasectomy involves a small surgical procedure for men that will prevent the man from producing fertile sperm and is a good option for men who want to take the responsibility over their partners. Note however that it is not generally reversible in some cases a reverse vasectomy can be performed, but it is generally intended to be a permanent procedure. It can also be quite uncomfortable for the man for a time afterward.
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Emily Madison works at HPWH, for more information about their products and services click here
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