Contraception for teenage daughter - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 03-17-2013, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 18 year-old daughter has been in a long-term relationship for several years and has recently become sexually active.  She and her boyfriend are using condoms but she wants something additional as she is trying to be very responsible.  

 

She and I have been researching the options and we are both feeling very uncomfortable with all of the side effects of the various methods.  I feel strongly in support of her taking responsibility for her sexual health but can't seem to find a contraceptive method that feels comfortable to me to recommend to my child.  I've raised her with no vaccinations, no pharmaceuticals, organic and chemical-free eating and living for her entire life... breastfed her for over four years.  So I don't want to start pumping chemicals and hormone-disrupters into her now, but I also do not want her to risk unwanted pregnancy.  

 

 

I would like to hear from other natural-living women what you've found to be the least-toxic method(s) of contraception.  Please share your advice and experience but not debate.  Thank you.


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#2 of 15 Old 03-17-2013, 05:50 PM
 
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Maybe she would enjoy the responsibility and empowerment of FAM/NFP? I struggled with hormonal BC and just recently had a copper IUD removed after several months of constant discomfort, so my husband and I are back to NFP. Putting her fertility in her own hands could maybe help her feel in control of her sexual relationship, and it should also give her a good idea about her boyfriend's respect for her as well :-)

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#3 of 15 Old 03-17-2013, 05:55 PM
 
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I'm just using the copper IUD for the first time in my life and I love it. After having been on hormonal contraception for all my life up until having my son, I'd recommend everyone give the copper IUD a try. I know some people who didn't like it, but if it works it's wonderful. I'm almost angry at myself for not trying it sooner. 

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#4 of 15 Old 03-17-2013, 07:12 PM
 
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I would not recommend an IUD for someone who has not had a child yet.  I know someone who tried one and it fell out.  Perhaps NFP, as the PP mentioned, could work with condoms.




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#5 of 15 Old 03-17-2013, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies.  :)

 

Can anyone recommend an easy-to-understand resource for NFP that I could show my daughter?  


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#6 of 15 Old 03-17-2013, 07:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pokeyAC View Post

I would not recommend an IUD for someone who has not had a child yet.  I know someone who tried one and it fell out.  Perhaps NFP, as the PP mentioned, could work with condoms.

 

I was told the reason they don't recommend them before having children was that they're more difficult/painful to insert, but it wasn't for me. I had the hormonal one before I got pregnant and had the copper one put in after my son was born. I had a pre-labor c-section and my cervix never dilated, it was kind of painful but nothing worse than bad menstrual cramps and only for about 20 seconds while they inserted it. There is always the risk of them coming out, I think the risk is highest in the first few months it's in... but after being on hormonal birth control, I'd personally take all the "negatives" of the copper IUD... I never realized how much the hormones messed with my system until I stopped taking them... It just took me so long to try the copper one because people complained so much about knowing someone with a perforated uterus, heavier periods, it came out, etc.... I'll take heavier periods any day over the constant crappy feeling of hormonal BC. 

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#7 of 15 Old 03-18-2013, 12:37 PM
 
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I had excellent luck with a copper IUD prior to having kids as well! The doctor just measured my uterus before to make sure it would be big enough, and it was so he went ahead with it. I had absolutely no issues and would recommend it to anyone who asked about it! But then when I got another one after having two kids, I felt achey and crampy down there aaaall the time, and the cramps during my period were just continuous and unbearable, so I got it removed after 6 months. I am convinced all of my reproductive organs shrank up smaller than they originally were after childbirth! lol With the IUD, you really can't know how it will work for you until you try it. 

As far as easy NFP, she could read Taking Charge of your Fertility. It is very easy to understand, and very detailed. You could also call around to local Catholic churches that offer NFP classes and find out if she'd be allowed to attend (not sure if she would since they are not big on premarital sex, officially...) 

 

ETA: FertilityFriend.com is an excellent resource for charting electronically, and has lots of other people's charts you can look at and lots of information!!

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#8 of 15 Old 03-18-2013, 01:33 PM
 
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I'd be vvvvvery careful about suggesting NFP to an 18 year old... especially if her boyfriend is also 18 wink1.gif

 

Momentary lapses of judgment happen to everyone but especially often when you're 18 lol... Of course she can't be any worse off with knowing about NFP than with condoms alone but sometimes people get overly confident with it and that's when accidents happen.

 

I went to catholic school all my life and we of course learned it... our teen pregnancy rate with NFP was very high. 

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#9 of 15 Old 03-18-2013, 01:57 PM
 
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NFP - using basal body temp and charting is a great education and I think it would be useful for both your daughter and her partner to learn.  Then they can use it IN ADDITION to condoms.  I react to spermicides and am very fertile (got pregnant both times when the condom slipped).  So for several years when I really did not want to get pregnant we used condoms at all times AND avoided intercourse during my fertile times.  I second the book suggestion:  Taking Charge of Your Fertility.

 

I think the hard part is the fact that we are most attracted to our partners (and they to us) when we are approaching ovulation.  Having awareness around this (and the fact that we can ovulate unexpectedly out of pattern) is all good.  Having an awareness of the fact that no contraception is 100% effective is a good thing too.  Your daughter might want to think about how she would feel if she did get pregnant, then talk with her partner about what she/they might do, so these thoughts can happen outside of the influence of pregnancy hormones.  Does she want to have PlanB around just in case, even though it is a hormonal implant preventer?

 

Ah, fun stuff.  May your daughter feel empowered and blessed by her fertility and not at the mercy of fears nor feel out of control around this issue.

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#10 of 15 Old 03-25-2013, 12:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Escaping View Post

I'd be vvvvvery careful about suggesting NFP to an 18 year old... especially if her boyfriend is also 18 wink1.gif

 

Momentary lapses of judgment happen to everyone but especially often when you're 18 lol... Of course she can't be any worse off with knowing about NFP than with condoms alone but sometimes people get overly confident with it and that's when accidents happen.

 

I went to catholic school all my life and we of course learned it... our teen pregnancy rate with NFP was very high. 


Yeah, I do not know if I myself would have been responsible enough to stick to the NFP at the age of 18. Like you said, momentary lapses in judgement happen a lot at that age. Maybe a mini-pill or something? I really do not know. I guess NFP on top of condom use wouldn't be so bad if they were using condoms every time.

 

Hmm.. That's a difficult one.


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#11 of 15 Old 03-25-2013, 09:22 PM
 
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Do you have a Planned Parenthood office/clinic nearby?  There are so many more birth control options now compared to when I was a teenager.  Planned Parenthood would probably be my 1st choice for a place to go and ask all kinds of questions and get to see and hear about options.  This is something you and your daughter could do together or she could go with her partner, so they both get an education.  I don't know how the employees of PP are in your area, but around here they are incredibly knowledgeable and empowering.

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#12 of 15 Old 03-25-2013, 09:46 PM
 
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Maybe something like a diaphragm would be good--it does mess with the spontaneity of the moment, but she's not putting anything permanent into her body or taking any medications. 

 

Lots of women have IUDs before having children without incidents. There is a slightly higher expulsion risk but it's still pretty low. 

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#13 of 15 Old 03-25-2013, 10:16 PM
 
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Maybe something like a diaphragm would be good--it does mess with the spontaneity of the moment, but she's not putting anything permanent into her body or taking any medications. 

 

 

I'm pretty sure you have to use a spermicide with a diaphragm.....

 

*googling*

 

From Planned Parenthood:

 

"Diaphragms prevent pregnancy by keeping sperm from joining with an egg. In order to be as effective as possible, the diaphragm must be used with spermicide cream, gel, or jelly."

 

I just noticed you said anything permanent, I'm sorry.  I thought you meant anything at all.  However, I think it's important to note that you are supposed to use a spermicide.  I react to spermicides, yuk.  I guess that's pretty common.


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#14 of 15 Old 03-27-2013, 01:41 PM
 
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Planned Parenthood has a quiz-style tool to help sort through different methods, as well as charts and full pages on each method.  I'd check it out with her.

 

For the record, I started using NFP when I was about your daughter's age. Only she and her boyfriend know how well it would work for them.  She could love it...but you know her better than any of us here, of course :)


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#15 of 15 Old 03-27-2013, 02:43 PM
 
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 I react to spermicides, yuk.  I guess that's pretty common.

Yeah, that is the potential risk with spermicides. I think something like 15-20% of people have a sensitivity. So it may not be an option for her... but I do think if she can tolerate it, it can be an advantage over the Pill insofar as she only has to use it when she is actually active, rather than every day, and also that it only acts locally. 

 

Personally, when I was a little older than her, my dread of pregnancy trumped my distaste for hormonally altering my body and I spent several years on the Pill. I never had problems with it. Then I switched to a copper IUD and never had problems with that either. No birth control method is perfect, of course, but if you want strongly enough to avoid pregnancy, that may color how much you're willing to avoid a certain method due to ideological issues. Others' mileage may vary, of course. 

 

The other method that got suggested to me every so often in my "pregnancy would be the end of the world" phase is avoiding vaginal intercourse and only having other kinds of sex. I tend to assume that people in the OP's daughter's position have considered and rejected this method, but technically it is a birth control method requiring no artificial interventions. 

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