Helpful Tips When It Comes to Asking Your Parents About Going On Birth Control
By: Hannah Van Steenburgh
Let’s be honest, there are very few people out there who find it comfortable to talk to their parents about sex, whether you haven’t even had it yet, are thinking about having it or have already, it never really becomes less awkward of a topic. Right next to talking about your sex life is discussing the kind of contraception you’re using or maybe what you would like to be using (i.e. starting the pill or the shot, etc.). It’s easy to fret over how to ask your mom (or dad) about birth control, or spend months waiting for “the right moment” to bring it up because you fear the message it might send your parents about the actual having sex aspect of birth control.
Using birth control is not something taboo, according to Planned Parenthood, 24% of all women are currently using some form of birth control and 98% of all women have used it at some point throughout their life. Remember, it’s your body and your future you’re protecting by making the decision to use birth control, it’s not always all about the sex. But have no fear, you can push your anxiety about “the talk” aside because we’ve come up with four alternative reasons why birth control is a great decision to help alleviate the potential elephant in the room when you finally do talk to someone about getting the kind of contraception you want and need.
- Birth Control has Many Other Benefits Aside from Preventing Pregnancy
One of the most common reasons to start taking birth control is to reduce pre-menstrual and menstrual symptoms. Many women suffer from severe cramping that can lead to vomiting as well as head and body aches that can be very uncomfortable but starting the pill greatly reduces those symptoms. Additionally, taking the pill is a super effective way to get rid of acne, prevent anemia, cyst formation in the breasts and ovaries and can help prevent ovarian and endometrial cancers. It doesn’t have to be about the sex, so when the conversation comes up you can easily make it about your overall health and wellbeing.
- Protecting Your Future
Weather you someday plan to be a business person, an artist, a doctor, the president or a parent, taking birth control can be a very big step toward achieving your goals. Working toward your goals takes a lot of focus and attention and an unwanted pregnancy can hinder that focus. Beginning to take birth control doesn’t have to mean you don’t want kids, it can mean that you just have other things you need to be focusing on at the moment like school, or your career, or maybe you are already taking care of fur babies. Whatever it is, it’s protecting achieving your goals from being disrupted by an unwanted pregnancy. In the end parenthood is much happier and easier when you have planned for it, you have the time, and financial means to provide your child with the best resources possible. Chances are your parents know this and experienced parenthood for themselves, so there’s a good chance this might help them understand.
- If You Know Cost is a Problem
You’re in luck! Currently under Obamacare’s Affordable Care Act, most insurance plans cover contraceptives and healthcare visits related to contraceptives completely, meaning they’re free for your use. Additionally, there are many government programs that make contraceptives affordable (if not free) for those in need and if you don’t know how to gain access to those programs having a talk with your doctor can help, if that isn’t available to you, there are organizations like Planned Parenthood that can also be very helpful. Worrying about how much the pill or the shot, etc. might cost your parents (or yourself) shouldn’t keep you from doing what’s best for you when there are numerous resources to help alleviate that issue.
What about when Obamacare ends?
While we can’t be sure what is going to happen to the healthcare situation with a new president in office we can always check the forecast as to what is likely to happen. Even though the Affordable Care Act will be ending soon there is still interest in the passing of amendments that will keep contraceptives low cost or free by those who helped pass Obamacare in the first place. Additionally, some states such as New York, California and Illinois are beginning to pass laws that will continue to provide birth control with no co-pay, if, and when Obamacare is repealed. Making your parents aware of this could make the whole process easier on everyone involved.
- There are resources available that don’t involve discussing it with your parental units
If you really don’t want to talk about it with your mom or dad, or whoever takes care of you and you are 18 or older, you can always just suggest you need a check-up or would like to see your doctor. Or you can call and make your own appointment and then talk privately with them, they are sworn to secrecy and cannot tell anyone what you discussed without getting your consent first. Also, don’t be afraid to use resources such as the nearest Planned Parenthood if you are under 18, aren’t comfortable seeing your doctor, or don’t have the access or funding to see one. Planned Parenthood is a really great resource that will keep your information confidential and can help you make decisions and find ways to know what type of birth control is the best fit for you and then be able to get it on your own without having to talk with someone you aren’t comfortable talking about sex or contraceptives with.
Another helpful resource on UWEC’s campus is the Forward Health Family Planning Program. This is a state funded program for both for women and men and is based upon only your individual situation. It does not require any information from or about your parents and most students are still eligible for its benefits even if you are covered by your parent’s insurance plan. If you apply to the program it can cover things like sexual health related tests and treatments as well as a whole array of different contraceptive and family planning methods. If you are considering this program more info is available at www.access.wisconsin.gov or through Student Health Services located in Crest Wellness Center on upper campus or call SHS at 715-836-5360.
Hopefully these tips have helped you and your situation, but it is also important to remember everyone’s situation is different and after all, you are still your parents’ child and it can be difficult for them to see you growing up. You know them best and you will be able to find a way to gain access to what you feel your body and future needs!
Other Helpful Resources: