commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Piss-Poor Judgment of Solomon
Childfree-by-choice woman here. I'm in my mid-30s, I have never in my life wanted to have a baby, and I don't see that changing at this point. It took me 2 years to get my IUD, but it is one of the best healthcare decisions I have ever made. I highly recommend long-term birth control (IUD, tubal, vasectomy) to anyone who is sure they don't want to parent, and I recommend making the final decision for that SOLO, regardless of whether you are partnered, because it's YOUR BODY and YOUR LIFE. I have friends who I know and love (truly!) who got the baby-fever and had babies that their partners were (at best) ambivalent about making, and (at worst) really opposed to making. Babies they couldn't afford, babies after they had a previous baby with birth defects... It's been shocking to me to see what the true hormonal baby-fever does to otherwise reasonable people. For some people it can be an all-consuming thing, it becomes more important that ANYTHING else (including the rest of your family who already exist), and the idea to "seek forgiveness rather than permission" or that the unwilling partner will "learn to love it, because how could they not" is unfortunately upheld and defended by our culture as not only a legitimate justification, but a good one. It's fucked up and I want no part of it, and this is why in my own life, I want to make sure that my mind (and not my hormones, or other people's hormones) is always what's making my major life decisions. Which is why I say, if kids are not in your life plan, take action for yourself. Even people you love and trust can act irrationally in this situation.
Mar 1, 2013
commented on Savage Love
Maybe late to the game, but chiming in here, in case TIMELY or another lady with the same question is still reading comments...
High-five to you for being proactive about your own health and sex life, seriously. That's awesome, responsible foresight. Encourage your friends to do the same!
All of my lady friends have had different experiences with different kinds of contraceptives, and it's sadly true that there's no way to know what will work for you until you've tried it. Personally, I did great on the Pill (tri-cyclin, and later, the seasonique brand that gives you 4 periods a year) ...I LOVED the Pill, but my doc said I couldn't take it anymore because my migraines put me at higher risk for stroke when taking oral contraceptives. I am now a few months into my first IUD, the Mirena, and I have to say... getting it inserted was pretty horrible. (I haven't ever had children, and I had to have a cervical polyp removed in order to do it, and it was the 2 most painful doctor's visits of my life.) I also had some cramping for the first month which was no joke. HOWEVER, after getting through that, things are actually pretty great - light/practically non-existent periods (looking forward to them getting more predictable as I adjust!), hardly any PMS at all, and no more stress about pregnancies. For at least 5 years. Without me having to do anything else. My doc even told me that for pregnancy prevention, the Mirena is statistically as effective (or more) than getting my tubes tied. And sex is still awesome. WIN. SO WORTH IT.
If you can get the pill, and you don't have any risk factors that make it a bad idea (classic migraines, smoking, etc, TALK HONESTLY TO A GOOD DOCTOR ABOUT THIS) it's really worth a try, and well worth trying out before you are sleeping with anyone. The basic low-dose stuff (like the Tri-Cyclen Lo) is pretty affordable and has the benefit of you being able to quit it at any time if it doesn't work for your body. Given that you've got the clarity and foresight to be thinking about this now, you're probably responsible enough to set a daily alert on your cell phone (or whatever) to remind you to take it on time every day. Try it out for a few months, see if you like it, switch your prescription if you want to, give it a shot. This also goes for the NuvaRing, which I've heard some people really like.
If the Pill doesn't work for you (and I have a few friends who it sucked for, it's not for everyone), an IUD is a totally legit option and is great for really long-term reliability. If you're going to get one and you haven't ever given birth, GET RECOMMENDATIONS/REFERRALS FOR A REALLY GOOD GYNO WHO HAS DONE A TON OF IUD INSERTIONS. Seriously. You want a seasoned pro for this. Take a max dose of ibuprofen ahead of time and plan to take that day and the next day off to chill on the couch with a heating pad and some bad tv. And give it a chance to get better. For most people it does get better, and winds up being worth it. :)
In any/all cases, USE CONDOMS if you and your partner haven't been tested!!! You can still use condoms with ANY of these other forms of birth control - pill, IUD, implant... Have them for a backup against pregnancy AND as much protection as you can reasonably get against STIs. It will give you confidence and peace of mind. Buy them for yourself and tell your partners to buy them too. Make condoms mandatory, because they shouldn't be a big deal - they should be the standard. Train those college boys well!
And have fun!
Feb 25, 2013
commented on SL Letter of the Day: Catholic Schooled
@49 Kim in Portland -
"To accept that atheism accepts the natural world as all there is. To live without god beliefs is intellectually stimulating. To find one's own purpose and be responsible for one's own life is exciting. To be free of the imagined surveillance of good and evil spirits is liberating. To seek a peaceful world through work and friendship and civic action is life-affirming."
Thanks for saying that so well.