The Complete Guide To Birth Control

Now here’s the hard part: talking to the people in your life about using birth control. But don’t stress: it might seem scary, but in the end, you’re doing the right thing.

Your doctor should be super helpful.

How To Talk To Your Doctor
Your doctor can be one of your best sources for information about birth control, especially because she knows your medical history and can steer you away from options that might not work as well for you. When you go in for a physical, it is likely that your doctor will ask if you are sexually active. And if she doesn’t, and you are? You really should tell her.

You you can ask about birth control at any point during a visit. There are no rules about when to bring up the subject. If you aren’t due for a physical, but still want to talk to your doctor, go ahead and make an appointment for a consultation.

Even if you feel awkward or embarrassed, it’s important to be honest with your doctor and to answer any questions you are asked. They can’t figure out what you’ve been doing sexually from just looking at your body, so it’s up to you to let them know. Your doctor needs this information to make sure she is giving you the best care possible.

Most of the time, doctors have confidentiality agreements, so they are not allowed to share anything you tell them with other people—even your parents. However, different states have different laws regarding teen confidentiality and serious health situations. In severe cases, such as pregnancy or sexual abuse, doctors may be able to share personal information with people they think should know. If you are nervous about parents or anyone else finding out about your sexual history, simply ask your doctor for her confidentiality policy before you share anything. Remember, no matter how strange your question might seem to you, your doctor has definitely heard it before!

You may also want to ask your doctor to recommend a gynecologist. Experts usually advise young women to begin having annual checkups with a gynecologist once they become sexually active.

Your sweetie shouldn't mind talking about sex.

How To Talk To Your Partner
Talking about sex with your sweetie can be scary and awkward, but it’s important to discuss before climbing into bed. Understanding how your partner feels about the relationship, and sharing how you feel, is a good way of making sure that you have similar intentions and emotions concerning sex.

If you are worried about bringing it up, you might want to start by talking about sex in general. Talk about a sex scene in a movie you both watched, what your school’s sex ed classes teach or even some quirky sex fact your friend just told you. Just try to stay calm and relaxed it will make the conversation flow much easier.

In discussing sex with your sweetie, there are a couple things you may want to figure out. How do you feel about each other and how serious do you want the relationship to be? What scares you about sex? Are you going to be protected? Do either one of you have STDs?

If you really feel uncomfortable bringing up the subject, it may be a sign that you are not ready for sex–either personally or as a couple. Though awkward, talking about sex might bring you and you sweetie closer together.

It might be tough, but don't shut your parents out.

How To Talk To Your Parents
Your parents think it’s time you have that dreaded sex talk—as if you didn’t have enough to think about! Or maybe you’re the one who wants to have the dreaded sex talk. Either way, you may feel nervous or anxious with the idea of sitting down and talking about sex with your parents, but the good news is that your parents probably feel the same way. Parents can be a great information center and since they have your safety and happiness in mind they really make a great resource.

Honest and open conversation with your parents can build trust and show them that you’re mature and capable of making responsible decisions. The support of your parents will also be helpful when it comes to visiting a doctor or getting your hands on birth control. There are many great benefits to talking with your parents, so if you want them involved you can approach them instead of waiting for them to come to you. Before you psych yourself out with a parent’s style sex talk, think about how they’ll react and then if you think they might freak out, it might be a good idea to wait until you’re all ready.

If you want to test the waters or if you’re not quite sure where to start, mentioning something you saw in a magazine or movie will help spark conversation without putting the spotlight on you. Or you could even bring up a hypothetical situation, involving one of your friends and ask their opinion on the subject. If you want to take a more direct approach with your parents, make it clear that you want to have a private and important discussion by saying something like, “This is a little uncomfortable for me, but can we talk alone later tonight.” Initiating the conversation is the hardest part, but you should rest assured that most parents want to help lead their children to responsible, educated and healthy sex lives.

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