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“Need Birth Control Solutions–Please help!”

A age 18-21, anonymous writes:

My boyfriend finds it hard to use condoms because most of the time he loses his erection just after he puts one on.


Because of this we tried me going the pill. However, four months ago while on the pill, I became pregnant and had a miscarriage at 9 weeks. I didn’t know I was pregnant until I miscarried and I was told by the doctors at the hospital that I shouldn’t be using any hormonal contraceptives because of a medical issue I’ve had all my life. They said the pill may have had a part in the miscarriage though couldn’t be entirely sure.


My boyfriend and I have spoken about it and we both agree that we don’t want to use any kind of inserts like the sponge or diaphragm – they kinda creep us out a little bit. So my question is, does anyone have any idea where we should go from here? I’ve heard about the natural method but have been warned it’s severely unreliable (though my cycle is extremely regualr, down to the hour, if that helps at all…). We are currently not having sex due to lack of contraceptives but obviously this cant go on forever…Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


A female reader, mcbirdie United Kingdom +, writes (9 August 2008):

mcbirdie agony auntI would never recommend the rhythm method as a sole method of contraception. Unless you’re willing to not just count days from your cycle but also to take your temperature to suss out the days when you are most fertile, you’re bound to make a mistake at some point.


I get that a barrier method like a diaphragm isn’t ideal for you, but you might want to at least give the sponge or so a go. You might find that it isn’t as unsettling as you think–if you’ve used tampons before, it isn’t such a leap to try it out.


Beyond that, there are two recommendations: first, talk to your doctor about an non-hormonal IUD. Also referred to as the copper coil, it stops pregnancy by agitating the walls of the uterus. There are models that also have hormones, which tend to stop your period totally, but you can get them without. That might solve your no-hormones rule. I’ve had an IUD (well, I’m on my second now) for the past nine years and I love it. Second tip is to try again with the condoms.


But from now on, don’t try to have sex as soon as your boyfriend puts it on. If he allows time for the latex to warm to his body (either through foreplay or by you giving him oral sex), it will feel much more natural once you have sex. That often sorts out the problem with losing an erection post-condom. He should also start wearing condoms when he masturbates–if he doesn’t let himself masturbate without, his body will quickly get used to the feel of them.




A female reader, mcbirdie United Kingdom +, writes (10 August 2008):

mcbirdie agony auntThere are many, many, many types of condoms out there. There are condoms that have no spermicide and flavours added if you wanted to go back to oral afterwards, there are condoms that increase sensitivity, and condoms that have ridges and bumps for more pleasure.


I think it is incredibly dangerous advice to suggest someone go to the rhythm method–especially when the adviser admits she got pregnant on that same method. I’m sure accidental children come to be loved and enjoyed, but they are still accidents. If you’re trying to avoid pregnancy, checking your ovulation (you should note that the main purpose of those expensive ovulation kits is to help people who are TRYING to get pregnant) will never give you 100% security. Not even the 99% that other birth control gives you.


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