daughters on birth control? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 09-24-2002, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am watching my sweet young lady proudly as she gets out of the car and walks into school this AM, she is 14- and probably the one handing out the condoms too , lol, but not using them, notyet-
I believe she isnt ready for BC yet, we are pretty open and I do trust what I know is going on with her, I DO want to be able to offer her the best options however...and we discuss openly stuff like BC-
...but I have shared repeatedly how much I dislike the pill as a form of BC to others,(moms, moms to be) around her, and with her in the group of moms during the discussions so...
now I just got thru reading how someone was on birthcontrol(am assuming it was the pill) for a couple years before she actually needed it and it sounded so...I dont know, safe maybe? even tho Ive never thought of that form of birth control as healthy all of a sudden, when thinkiing of teen pregnancy I suppose it would be a good alternative...
I would like to hear from moms whose daughter (s) use birth control effectively, how long they have used it, when they started , do we have moms with daughters here on BC?
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#2 of 10 Old 09-24-2002, 10:11 AM
 
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I started at 15 due to severe menstrual pain...I was taking a lot of pain drugs so it seemed the better choice. We were trying things like heat, massage but we didn't know about any other alternative possibilities, so maybe there were choices. At the time, it was a better choice. I was sexually active around 17, used the pill along with condoms and spermicide (we were paranoid...having a baby at that age was NOT in my plan.) I was only the pill on and off for 10 years. I had some pms moody symptoms and maybe one light migraine per month. Side effects varied with brands but I always managed to find one where it was minimal. Worst brand I had I was having severe mood swings in the first month, so I called the doc and switched. The return of normal periods and fertility was very very quick, no problems. The side effects of lighter periods and less pain was very helpful. Don't know that I'll use it again...but it was ok for me. I think for a lot of teens, FAM and NFP only is not veyr practical...many aren't on a regular schedule or menstrual cycle, and I know I at that age was just to scattered to do it right. I had the mornings after pill once, and that was rough...(heard they made it a little more precise dosewiseso there's less vomiting). I think I would rather be on the pill, personally, than than take the MA pill even once after a broken condom or face an unexpected pregnancy. I have a mild latex and more severe spermicide allergy now...perhaps the diaphragm combined with condoms would be a good alternative if I were a teen again without allergies? And using alternative treatment for the menstrual issues.
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#3 of 10 Old 09-24-2002, 10:36 AM
 
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my daughter is only 4, so obviuosly this has not come up, but I am very interested to see the responses you get.

Once I started practicing FAM, I felt that I was really respecting my body, and I'd love to pass that feeling and that information on to my daughter. But this really doesn't seem appropriate for a teenager- doea teenager really have the commitment, patience, and maturity for this method? As marymom said, the pill just seems so safe.

YET even the pill is NOT safe without the use of a condom for STD's.

So, how have other handled this? I'd love to hear some real-life stories of how moms have handled this whole issue.
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#4 of 10 Old 09-24-2002, 11:01 AM
 
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I was a teen mom. I had my son at age sixteen. Partly because every one I knew was thiry when they had kids and felt to old to play with them, so I wanted to make sure I had energy.

So with that said, my mom was very open with us on how babies where made, what sex was, and the advice she gave us was: Sex is to reproduce, you are not ready for sex until you can do it with the lights one, you know how a condom works, you know what your partner looks like fully, and you can talk about it with out getting embaressed, and if we ever caught a STD she would be devistated! Pregnancy was ok, but the fact of dying from an STD was to scary. So we learned early to get tested, and go with the partner the first time, use condoms six months, get tested again with partner and see results before we even thought of having it unprotected. (my spelling is bad) But other that condoms we never really talked about BC. So when I was ready to be a mom, I became one. And my sister who is 2 years older was PG too at the time.

Well wouldn't you know that good old mom put baby sis one BC. My little sis said she wanted to be, but I really think it was my mom. And I used to have condoms in a bag in my room, that were slowly disapeering. Which I think mom knew about (more reason to put her one them)

But Little sis got PG too at age 17 (I think, I was out of the home). She thought the boy was rich and going to marry her. Scary thought. I know that she has always been emaressed to talk about sex, and she wouldn't admit to having her period till after her second baby was born.

So my only advice is really have your kids, not just the girls, talk openly about it and really, I mean really tell them about all the STD's that never go away!
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#5 of 10 Old 09-24-2002, 02:37 PM
 
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Definitely, open communication is the way to go! I knew several girls in high school whose parents put them on the Pill at 14 or 15 in order to feel they were safe without having to talk about it : and I think that is a really poor approach. Combined w/lots of discussion of responsible sex, condoms, etc., it would be better.

My opinion of the Pill is quite negative, and especially I worry about girls taking it before their natural cycle has had a chance to get established. I would discourage a girl under 18 from taking it unless she either expects to be having sex within 6 months or has menstrual problems that haven't responded to other treatments.

When I started having sex at 16, my choice of contraception was spermicide capsules (the bullet-shaped things that melt in the vagina) combined w/condoms. My best friend advised me to tell guys we weren't going all the way unless HE provided the condom. That was an effective way of making sure the responsibility was shared. Also, an advantage of the capsules was that I could insist on 10 minutes of foreplay because that's how long they take to melt! I think barrier methods are the best choices for teens because they won't disrupt developing hormonal systems, and because the way they're used is linked directly to the sexual activity. With the Pill, Norplant, Depo, etc., it's easy to disassociate the use of contraception from the sex, which makes it easy to forget that if you stop using that you have to use something else. I think that being forced to pause in the midst of passion and make sure we were protected was good training!

A diaphragm or cervical cap is going to be difficult for a girl to insert before losing her virginity, or even after, unless she's very experienced w/menstrual cups or something similar. Also, she'd have to either wear it constantly just in case, or carry it around with her. An advantage of OTC contraceptives is that she can put a few in her purse, a few in her bedside table, etc., and always have one handy when needed.

If you do decide to put your daughter on a hormonal contraceptive, consider NuvaRing, which is supposed to act more locally (on the reproductive organs) than systemically and thus have fewer side effects.

Overall, I think the best thing to do is talk w/her about ALL the options available in contraception and their pros and cons, and let HER choose which method and when to start.

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#6 of 10 Old 09-24-2002, 06:46 PM
 
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and visit http://www.birthcontrol.com to take a look at some of the latest and greatest OTC methods. One thing I forgot to emphasaize (besides laughing at the condoms, 6 months, HIV test thing which is so alien to women older than me, but anyone my age and younger, it's so common if you've had more than 1 partner...) Anyhow...that nonoxynol 9 allergy thing. I used to teach safer sex classes. a HUGE number of women are allergic to it. (I'm forgetting but I believe it was 40% or higher) In fact, they believe the irritation it couses might make women MORE prone to contract HIV if exposed! Please explain to your teen how to find and use condoms with separate non-spermicide lubricant, or prelubed with plain lubricant. And how to recognize irriatation. I taught women who had been having negative and very painful reactions for YEARS. Teens esp think it's becuase they're new to sex, and it's supposed to hurt "that way." A good reason girls should bring thier own condoms. Since boys invariably buy "ribbed for her pleasure" or nonoxynol-9 lubricated ones.
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#7 of 10 Old 09-26-2002, 04:55 PM
 
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I agree w/Clarity that it's important to know how to tell if you're allergic to your contraceptive and what to do. However, I think the chance that a girl MIGHT be allergic to n-9 isn't a good reason for her to take full responsibility for providing contraception and ask nothing from the guy. (It's not just psychological responsibility; it's financial--for me, on my meager babysitting income, contraceptives even for a couple of uses per month were a noticeable expense.) If she doesn't like the condoms he buys, she could ask him to get a different kind.

Another thing is that sometimes people think they're allergic to n-9 when they're actually allergic to one of the many inactive ingredients in a spermicide. If foam is itchy, maybe gel would be okay, etc. I'm allergic to ONE BRAND of capsules and never had problems w/anything else. N-9 is very effective, so it's important not to write it off unless that's really necessary. (You can always do a test-run with a spermicide to make sure it's okay before you risk ruining a sexual encounter with an allergic reaction.)

It's also worth considering that condoms alone are only 86% effective (if 100 couples use them, without separate spermicide or any other contraception, and without abstaining on fertile days, for a year, 14 will get pregnant) in typical use, and inexperienced teens are more likely to make mistakes than the average user. I would encourage teens to always use a condom AND a backup method.

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#8 of 10 Old 09-26-2002, 09:24 PM
 
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Serendiptiously, there was an article about N9 in yesterday's wall street journal! Apparantly, things have progressed. Planned Parenthood is no longer selling or giving out N9 stuff...and the WHO recommends against it for disease preventative, so does the CDC - based on a 2000 study in africa showing increased infection rates in N9 using women, plus a population council domestic study showing tissue damage even in low doses. Many vendors are stopping using it (KY-Plus will be discontinued). Trojans will continue for now. So maybe our daughters won't have to deal with this issue! It was a really good article. Too bad it took 10 years! In women's HIV prevention we were discussing it then. And no other spermicide is widely used domestically. I agree, some sensitivity may be due to inactive ingredients...I experience the same thing, but I'm come to think it may be concentration, and how the inactive ingredients counteract the detergent effect of N9. (it is a detergent and breaks down tissues as well as sperm.)

I agreee that men should bear the burden. But if he shows up with the wrong stuff, I would not want a girl to use something not good for her, or not use anything, which some are prone to do, unfortunately. The idea of using barrier methods but using that as a "practice" time to get used to FAM is intriguing, but you're right, condoms along are not very effective.
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#9 of 10 Old 09-27-2002, 02:42 PM
 
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I hope our daughters won't have to deal w/n-9 sensitivity because there are better spermicides on the market, not because it's been withdrawn leaving NO spermicides on the market. It's encouraging that people are taking the problem seriously, but I hope they won't eliminate the n-9 option without making something available to take its place. (Notice that the issues are that n-9 doesn't prevent disease and that it has side effects; its effectiveness AS A CONTRACEPTIVE is not in question.)

Actually, I wasn't thinking of barrier methods as "practice" for FAM; I was thinking that needing to consider contraception in the context of the actual sex act helps to form good habits of responsibility and communication between partners. That would be useful for FAM, but this was my point: When you take the Pill (even more so when you have an implant or an occasional injection), it's easy to think of it as "medication" and to be cavalier about pregnancy risk when having sex--you know you're protected no matter when or how many times you do it. I believe there is some research indicating that girls/women on the Pill feel they have less justification in saying no to sex than those relying on OTC contraceptives; I know that as recently as 10 years ago, a significant number of guys held the belief that if a partner was on the Pill there was no reason to use a condom.

In my own experience, I took the Pill for 5 months when I was 25, during which time I stopped using my cervical cap. In that short time, I fell out of the habit of packing the cap when I traveled. Two weeks after I stopped taking the Pill, MrBecca and I went on a trip, and the fact that I would need the cap absolutely did not occur to me until we were en route and he made a flirtatious comment. If my stint on the Pill had been the first 5 months I was sexually active, so that I had never had to think about whether or not I was protected when making the decision to "go all the way", I very well might have gotten much farther into my first post-Pill encounter before I remembered. Something to think about when considering whether to start teens on the Pill, IMO.

Edited because I'm a stickler about "it's" vs. "its".

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#10 of 10 Old 09-28-2002, 09:33 AM
 
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there are other non N-9 spermicides -- used before N9, and in other countries, so we go without. In fact, I worry we won't get any non N9 choices since the worry is more about anal sex (rectal epithelium is 1 cell deep it was stated, while the vagina is 40 cells...so we can take more "abuse"), so it will likely continue to be available for pregnancy prevention but not disease prevention.

You have some good points about the pill, and FAM both...by practice, I really meant, have some backup while learning the whole FAM package...monitoring, abstaining, communicating, while getting more mature and skilled at it before deciding to rely on FAM alone.
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