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Sharing the responsibility for contraception

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Feature

Contraceptives have come a long way and today there are more options than ever before.

Here’s the thing though. Condoms aside, all other contraceptive methods (bar vasectomies) can only be used by the person with the ovaries! Now, there’s no denying these contraceptive choices have been a huge development for those with ovaries giving them better control of their fertility and life plans.

There’s a place for others in this contraception equation though. Using contraception requires planning and effort. You need to decide which one is best for you, you need to buy and then you need to make sure that you are using it correctly. For women and people with ovaries this often involves making and keeping appointments, remembering to take contraception every day, and sometimes even a medical procedure.

If you’re a man in a relationship where pregnancy is a possibility, there are a number of ways you can share the responsibility for contraception:

  1. Get tested! If you and your partner have decided to use a contraceptive method that does not include condoms, you need to be completely sure that you do not have an STI. Make an appointment with Family Planning or your health provider for peace of mind for you and your partner. Hot tip: Condoms on prescription are much cheaper! $5 will get you up to 144 condoms at Family Planning. And, you can do this over the phone so you don’t even have to visit the clinic!
  2. Get involved! Come along to appointments. All of the contraceptive options available to women involve at least one appointment with a doctor or nurse. Show an interest in what contraceptive method your partner will be using, what it requires and what effect it will have on her by coming to the appointment (if she would like you to).
  3. Get financial! Share the cost. While your partner is the one using the contraception, both of you benefit, so make sure you share the cost. While many contraceptives are subsidised, some are not, and there can be a cost for appointments too. Sharing the cost is a great way to take more responsibility for safer sex.
  4. Get ready! Make sure you have condoms on hand. There can be times when it is useful to have condoms, such as if your partner gets the Depo Provera injection and is overdue for a new shot, or has missed the pill a couple of times.
  5. Get snipped! Consider a vasectomy. If you both feel confident that you do not want any (more) children, then it is worth considering getting a vasectomy to become permanently sterile. A vasectomy is a relatively simple operation; a lot more so than female sterilisation. It won’t affect your sex life, and means neither of you need to worry about contraception again.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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