Who should use protection, men or women? It is an interesting question. Sex, contraception options and protection are mutual responsibility. Both men and women should know how to choose the right method. Both of them should think about their own and their partner’s health and well-being. It is not enough if one partner is responsible: both parties should know how to prevent pregnancy. Safe sex is not a matter that you can shrug away, saying that your partner is on the pill and it is not your problem. Contraception pill may not solve sexual problem and not forget about the side effect.
Honesty, Trust, Contraception Options and Your Health
Is your partner honest with you? Does your female partner tell you that she takes birth control pills – and is it true? Probably she has side-thoughts and she thinks it is time to settle down and have a baby, so she has just “forgotten” about her birth control pills. Maybe she is the happy-go-lucky one and she has skipped one or two days, so now both of you are at risk of an unwanted pregnancy. Has your male partner told you that he has undergone vasectomy, so he is perfectly safe for you; but what about sexually transmitted diseases? Would your partner tell you if they had some minor infection? Do you know your partner well? Are you in a serious relationship, based on trust? Are you into one-night stands or short-lived relationships? These questions are not moral issues. They have a lot to do with your health. Never leave protection to your partner! Whatever he or she says, make sure that you do your best to avoid an unwanted pregnancy or an infection. Has he had a vasectomy? Is she on the pill? Great. You should still use protection. Combined contraception options are safe. If he did have a vasectomy, you still can take your birth control pills and ask him to use a condom.
Prevent Pregnancy: Choose the Right Method
While hormonal contraception is unbeatable when it comes to avoiding unwanted pregnancy, do not completely dismiss barrier methods. Condoms protect you from sexually transmitted diseases, and even some kind of cancers like cervical cancer.
Prefer male condoms over female condoms. Male condoms have a lowest failure rate of the barrier methods. Use a condom with spermicide. Never restrict your protection methods to female condoms alone! They have the highest failure rate of all birth control methods (with the exception of coitus interruptus, the withdrawal method). For instance, diaphragms are not reliable when you want to avoid pregnancy. Neither do they protect you from the diseases of the upper genital tract.
The safest way of having sex is when both partners use some kind of protection. For women, combined oral contraceptive pills, implants, combined injections, intrauterine devices are the safest methods, and, of course, the irreversible methods: hysterectomy, tubal ligation, and essure. They should also insist on using a condom. For men, vasectomy and lubricated latex condoms will be the safest way (make sure that you use water-based lubes and avoid oil-based lubes that may damage the condom). They can use plastic wrap when giving oral sex to their partner. Oral sex may seem safe, but it can lead to ugly surprises – for instance, human papilloma virus that can cause serious sexual health issues.