There are a few things to remember that will go a long way when you decide to talk to anyone about contraception, or any big life decision for that matter.
1. Be assured.
Don’t be embarrassed, sex is a normal part of life and talking about contraception shows you are taking responsible steps to protect yourself. This isn’t just about contraception, this is about you taking charge of your own life in an adult and responsible way, so be proud of yourself.
2. Be Informed.
Take some time to do your research, while you will never have all of the answers, knowing what you are talking about will give you more confidence, and will get you more respect from whoever you are talking to. Again, it shows maturity and there’s not a lot sexier than that.
3. Be Honest.
This is not a job interview and you aren’t trying to sell yourself, you’re trying to get the best for yourself, and that needs honesty. No one can give you the best advice if they don’t know the truth, especially your healthcare provider, so admit your past, your needs and concerns and you’ll get the best solutions for you.
TALKING TO YOUR PARTNER
Get intimate in more than one way.
If you’re comfortable enough to be sexually intimate with someone, you should be comfortable enough with them to talk about being sexually intimate. If you have any concerns, have they been tested, their thoughts on contraception etc., say so, don’t be pressured into anything and make sure your mind is at ease before you get yourself into anything you might regret. If they don’t feel the same, you might be with the wrong partner, sex is all about trust and without it, it really isn’t fun.
Why not explore the methods together?
IF YOU CAN’T FIND THE WORDS TO SAY, WRITE THEM DOWN.
If you struggle to share your feelings, write a letter. It may sound a little old school but it’s one way of getting your point across without nerves, awkwardness, or interruptions getting in the way. When you think the main reason you’re talking is to get your point across it doesn’t sound like such an odd suggestion does it?
TALKING TO YOUR PARENTS
They were your age once.
Remember that your parents, no matter how much you don’t want to think about it, had, and probably still have, sex. Yes it’s true, how do you think they got together in the first place, the same way you and your partner did, a bit of flirting, a bit of attraction and here you are. Ask about their experiences, ask for their advice, they not only care for you, they’ve also been through the whole thing before so ask questions and listen carefully to what they have to say.
Prepare yourself. Know before you start, how much, or how little, you’re prepared to share with your parents. You know them best so this is your call to make. Sometimes it might be easier to use a friend as an example, “Julia and her boyfriend are talking about having sex, what do you think about that?” is a good way of testing the water if you aren’t comfortable talking about yourself straight away.
TALKING TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
Get professional help.
Talking about sex can be difficult at the best of times, even more so in a healthcare provider’s office but remember, they’ve almost certainly heard whatever you are going to say a million times before so just be honest. They are also bound by confidentiality so just relax, your parents and friends aren’t going to find out! Being honest really is the key to getting the best care and making the best decisions for you so go for it, you’ll be fine.
You shouldn’t need an icebreaker to talk to your healthcare provider, just make sure you’re prepared with the questions you want to ask, the concerns you want explained, and that you’re prepared with the knowledge you need to get the most out of your visit. Below is a quick checklist to make sure you’re fully prepared.
1. Your period.
Your healthcare provider will probably ask about your last period so write down the date and any other details if you have concerns in this area.
Make a list of any medication you regularly take with the name, dosage, frequency etc.
3. Your questions.
Write any questions you want to ask down so you don’t forget to ask them.