Using family planning to NOT conceive

Filed under: Your Pregnancy

I have a pal who is trying her darnedest not to conceive. She is a rarity among my other gal pals who either already have kids or are trying their darnedest to get them. Although she did not ask for advice on how to go about not getting pregnant--after all, we're taught early on that you don't want to do that, especially as a teen--I wondered how she planned to go about her family not-planning.

Her first inclination was to ask her boyfriend to get a vasectomy. I often have this conversation with my husband. Once we have our children, I would prefer he get one because I've spent most of my life on the pill and have no interest in all the pill's side effects.

Nor do we relish the return of the condom, which is the most likely scenario. I must admit once you get used to having sex without a condom it's hard to go back. He refuses to get a vasectomy "just because," just like my friend's boyfriend.

She also tried several IUDs, one of which caused a blood clot in her and another which just never felt right and made her bleed a little bit pretty much all the time. No one needs that!

She also has no interest left in the pill as she is on a lot of other medication with which she really doesn't want to mix the pill. As we both put it, we are tired of messing with our hormones. No joke, even though they say it doesn't work this way I lost ten pounds when I went off the pill. Ten pounds. And I was less PMS-prone--I swear!!! My pal concurs.

At this point condoms are her preferred method on contraception although using them for the next billion years sounds ridiculous, and also not so hot for the environment.

So, what is she to do? Well, she is using family planning as a way of NOT getting pregnant. Now, I have no idea what this is all about, but I do know about how to go about the opposite side of things. I remember tracking my cycle for months and seeing how many days each cycle was, then trying to figure out when I was ovulating. I never bought any of the ovulation kits which test with temperature and other things, I just counted on good old math to get me through things.

That isn't good enough for my friend, though--she needs to be sure. So her plan is to get the ovulation kits and track her ovulation, ensuring she doesn't have sex the week or so surrounding her ovulation.

Now, I know what you're going to say. I said it to, to myself. I was reminded of the rhythm method and the joke this friend's mom used to tell: What do you call someone who uses the rhythm method? A parent.

I am terrified my pal will find herself in a sticky situation. What if her family not-planning fails and she becomes [regnant? She really does not want children, at least not right now, and I respect her for her decision. I also support her 100% and want to find out all I can to aid her in her endeavor.

She is planning on speaking to the professionals on this one, to be sure. Her gynecologist will provide her with the best advice and whatever technology out there exists to keep her from getting pregnant. And she will still be using condoms, at least for now.

The one good thing about the family not-planning approach is that my friend can opt out of it at any time. As far as I know, it's a pretty safe option as well. Getting your tubes tied, for example, carries some risk in that it is possible to have an ectopic pregnancy which can be dangerous or even fatal. This is not to mention that the surgery for getting your tubes tied is pretty invasive--they really have to get IN there, you know?

Do you know anyone who has used family not-planning? Were they successful? Any other tips I can offer my pal on how to keep from getting pregnant, without going back on the pill?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.