Posts Tagged ‘diaphragm’

Sometimes, when me & my girl friends talk about babies & our kids, the topic of contraception comes up.  The typical exchange goes like this:

Girl Friend:  What method do you use, Den?

Me:  I’ve always used only the rhythm method & occasionally, withdrawal.

GF:  Does that even work?

Me:  Yep, works for me.  There’s an 11 1/2 years gap between my two boys.

GF:  Really? Wow!  Well, I don’t have a regular period like you, yours probably comes every 28 days, right?

Me:  No, that’s a misconception.  A “regular” period isn’t something that comes along every 28 days or so on the dot.  It can vary, as long as it regularly comes within a certain range.  In my case, I have my period every 26-33 days, so I know more or less when my “safe” days are & when it’s not “safe.”

GF:  So…really, you’ve never used any other form of contraception?  I use (insert contraceptive method of choice).

Me:  No, not even a condom.  I remember being a young teenager & learning about all this stuff on my own through reading.  I didn’t like the idea of putting anything inside my body like a diaphragm or IUD & neither did I want to use the pill ’cause I didn’t want to deal with all the side effects & I didn’t like the idea of tampering with my body’s natural processes.  So I vowed that when I got married or became sexually active, I would only use the rhythm method.  I just need to keep track of my periods.

GF:  But the (insert contraceptive method of choice) is so much easier.  You don’t really have to think about it.

Me:  That may be true, but again, I just don’t want to deal with the side effects.  Plus if you’re gonna talk about family planning, well, it takes two people to make a baby.  If I’m the only one who’s taking an artificial method of contraception, then the burden of family planning falls on my shoulders alone & I’m the only one who will have to deal with any side effects, which I find unfair.  My opinion is family planning is a shared responsibility.  With the rhythm method, there’s some sort of self-discipline needed & both of you are involved.  With other contraceptive methods, well, you can basically have sex whenever you want, so no need for self-discipline & it’s solely the woman’s responsibility whether or not she gets pregnant.

Based on the countless conversations that I’ve had with friends & others on this topic, I’ve learned a few things:

  • a lot of women aren’t familiar with how their bodies work
  • most do not take the time to learn about the different methods of contraception.  Their decision is often based on what family & friends are doing & what they think is the easiest & most convenient method, without actually researching what is best for them.  For example, a few of my friends were surprised to learn that one of the risks of the pill & the patch  are blood clots, which can lead to strokes & heart attacks, & that risk increases if a person smokes.
  • regardless of whether sex education is taught at school or at home (I think it should be both), I believe it’s a personal responsibility to know these things, especially since it involves one’s health.

As the cliché goes, knowledge is power, and I think this is even more so when you’re talking about your body & your health.

At the end of the day, it’s my body, my choice, and I choose to make an informed decision when making that choice.


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