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You Asked: Should We Still Use Condoms?

Dear Sugar,

I've been married for about five years. I have been on various birth control pills the entire time, but I am terrified of having sex without using a condom too. My husband is irritated about this because he obviously prefers sex without a condom, but I'm petrified of getting pregnant. Am I being too uptight or is he being too pushy? — Paranoid Penny

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear Paranoid Penny,

The answer to your question is neither. Many women prefer to use backup contraception just for piece of mind while other women feel confident in the statistics of their chosen birth control method, so if you're that terrified of getting pregnant, I think you need to do whatever puts your mind at ease.

Since the pill is 99 percent effective, I'm left wondering if there's something else going on here so I suggest you have a heart to heart with your husband so you can talk through some of your fears. Since condoms aren't 100 percent effective at preventing pregnancy either, you might also want to talk about what would happen if you were to get pregnant, just so you're on the same page. Good luck!


Join The Conversation
beautifulmel beautifulmel 8 years
Pregnancy IS one of the most dangerous things women's bodies do. Just because we were built for it doesn't mean it isn't traumatic and a big deal. Men would DIE if they had to do it, or at least have a broken spine because of it. I personally have a medical condition where my spine won't bend properly, it's auto-immune and genetic, and not only do I not want to pass this painful disease on to my child, I also DO NOT want to be pregnant because it could injure my back and it would result in MORE pain than usual. It's a woman's right and RESPONSIBILITY to control when she gets pregnant-- both for her health and safety and also for that of her child. You don't want to bring a child into a situation where there is abuse or poverty-- there are many reasons for not wanting a surprise pregnancy, and the OP is wise to have a back-up method. Any man worth his salt won't complain about condoms-- which makes me wonder what her husband's problem is.
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
Oh good lord, pregnancy is not one of the most dangerous ordeals a woman's body can go through. Women are built to have babies. I don't think the OP would be wondering if she was being uptight if she had a medical condition that would cause a pregnancy to kill her. I think she would be pretty confident in being uptight if her life depended on it.
Colleeninator Colleeninator 8 years
Not to mention pregnancy is one of the most dangerous and difficult ordeals a woman's body can undergo. It IS a health scare. Bringing a pregnancy to term can actually be quite dangerous. We don't know if the OP has some kind of condition that makes pregnancy especially dangerous for her, or maybe she just doesn't want to give up a child of her own for adoption. What's wrong with simply wanting to wait to have children until you're ready?
AmandaKrups AmandaKrups 8 years
Sparklestar, why are you so nonchalant about getting pregnant? If someone's not ready to be pregnant, it's a huge, life-changing commitment. If they keep the baby, then they have a child for the rest of their life. If they give it up for adoption, they still have to carry the baby for nine months and deal with the separation afterwards. If they have an abortion, they have to deal with the decision they made for the rest of their life. Why would she need to discuss it with her doctor? Everyone needs to give the girl a break!!
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
What is your fear of getting pregnant? I mean, I know women don't want to get pregnant but there are other alternatives to actually having the baby... we live in a pro-choice nation after all. If you're not pro-choice then fine... there is still adoption for the millions of childless couples in the World. Have you discussed this with your doctor? 5 years is a long time. I usually go condom-free in a relationship around 6 months in provided we have both been tested. I am pro-choice though and so is my boyfriend.
AmandaKrups AmandaKrups 8 years
Here, here, stumbler02!! You said it perfectly. To whoever submitted this, I feel exactly the same way. I am on Nuvaring and we use condoms every time. My husband is very respectful of my decision to also use condoms and in fact, he too is worried about getting me pregnant and doesn't want to stop using them either! I have no fear that he would cheat on me, nor of us having kids together one day. But we're not ready now...we just got married so we want to spend time together first, we aren't financially well-off to be able to care for a child now, and there are other reasons. Neither my husband nor I have ever had sex without a condom, so we don't know what we are missing. We've been tested for STDs, so we're all set there. I just don't want to get pregnant now and there's nothing wrong with that. Yes, I know I am paranoid, but so what? I am annoyed with everyone here who said there is something wrong with the poster or her relationship or that she should see a shrink. The only thing wrong is that her husband isn't respecting her wishes. Even Dear wrote that there might be something else going on. 99% effective is not 100% effective, people! Especially if you forget to take a pill one day or are on antibiotics. To the poster, continue using the pill and condoms if that's what makes you feel better. That's what I'm going to continue doing! Just talk to your husband and hopefully he will be able to see your side. Good luck!
bluebird bluebird 8 years
I'm married, I'm on the pill, he uses condoms. Sure, it's overkill, but you're not alone out there in wanting to be certain you don't get pregnant before you're ready. Before you ask him why he's not willing to respect your wishes, ask yourself why you don't want the risk of having a baby. You need to figure out what part of the situation upsets you the most, and then bring your reasoning to him. If you can't get on the same page about it, you might want to talk to someone who can help you by calming your fears and help him understand your perspective better.
tyffi tyffi 8 years
The pill is pretty effective when it comes to prevent pregnancies - given you take it as prescribed. There's no need to add condoms. In fact, those are less safe than the pill - concerning pregnancy. When it comes to STDs they're the only way to go. So, when you're both healthy I'd say drop the condoms, rely on the pill. And, check your cycle rather then tell him to "pull it out" in time. Avoid haveing sex during your ovulation, or only use condoms during these days. That's be a good compromise for both of you. I'm just wondering if you're really just "scared" of getting pregnant, or maybe secretly fear your husband is unfaithful and that's why you insist on condoms.
cherryblossom cherryblossom 8 years
Bottom line, it is your body that will be effected the most by pregnancy or whatnot, therefore i think that even though he is your husband and you should care what he thinks, that he should care what you want, and do what makes you happy. I think that you should be firm about what you want, and talk to him about this. like i said, it is your body, and you dont have to compromise yourself, and what you think is right for you, for anybody, even your husband, and if he really loves you as im sure he does, he will understand your choices.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
I say relax and try it without a condom once. See how you feel. Also you could always try a different birth control method such as the implant. Which has a higher success rate than the pill. Personally I hate condoms, but I'll use them if it means I wont get knocked up!
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
if your husband is trying to make you feel guilty about something that you're sexually uncomfortable about, i think THAT is the problem. he wouldn't be the one getting pregnant if your primary form of bc didn't work. if he doesn't like it let him get snipped.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
Relax, there are many many couples out there who use the pill as their only contraceptive and never have any unplanned pregnancies. Sure, stuff happens, but it's really the exception rather than the rule, especially if you are careful about taking your pill at the right time. If you want to use a backup, there are lots of other things you can use like spermicide, diaphragms or temperature charting (aka natural family planning).
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
Is a pregnancy a health scare? From what I read she is afraid of getting pregnant, not getting sick. She's not insisting on condoms to prevent disease. There are plenty of other ways to prevent pregnancy and keep her husband happy too. Her husband deserves to be satisfied in the bedroom and I don't think he's out of line to be expressing what he wants. It seems that we as women complain alot that our men don't express thier desires to us, until they actually do.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
^I don't believe in abortion for myself, and yet I'm unmarried. I'd be even more "stuck with it". I think you are being pretty melodramatic...
stumbler02 stumbler02 8 years
Also, what if this woman doesn't believe in abortion? If she got pregnant accidentally, then she would be stuck with it. Imagine how horrible she would feel for caving into her husband's selfish sexual desires and then having to suffer the burden of an unwanted pregnancy. I am being a bit melodramatic, but the point is that it's her body, and pregnancy is a big deal.
stumbler02 stumbler02 8 years
I don't think the comments calling her "uptight" are really answering the question. The problem is not that she is uptight. The problem is that she is just not comfortable without a condom, yet her husband is not respectful of that. In my opinion, it is the husband who is being disrespectful. It is her body and she has every right to protect it how she sees fit. Yes, husbands and wives should be comfortable together sexually, but it is also her personal health which is at stake--and that is her call, and her call only. I myself wouldn't require a condom in her position, but health is an individual thing. What the average person thinks doesn't matter; what she thinks is the only thing that matters. The husband needs to be more respectful of her body and her needs. Just because they are married doesn't mean he has the right to enjoy himself with her body to the point that she is uncomfortable with it. You should never have to compromise your health to please someone else sexually. No exceptions.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
I understand completely. It's your choice honey
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
(ahem. it's not just better sex for him. it's a matter of taste but I personally *much* prefer sex w/o a condom!)
Colleeninator Colleeninator 8 years
I think you're being only slightly paranoid, but it's understandable. I hate the people saying things like 'you're not ready to have kids?!" It happens. Maybe she wants them later, but not yet. Calm down, it's her choice. As for using two methods of birth control, it makes sense. No form of birth control is 100% effective, and people still get pregnant when observing 'perfect use'. It's not too hard to find statistics on how many women get pregnant anyways. If you really REALLY don't want to get pregnant, why would you chance it? So, yes, you're being paranoid, but why not? And he needs to back off. He needs to understand that you're not going to be able to enjoy sex or even want to have sex unless you're comfortable with the situation. If using two forms of birth control is what makes you comfortable, then he'll have to find a way to live with it until you're ready to go down to one.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I think you're being a tad uptight as well. I've been married for 4 years and I'm child-free by choice. My husband and I have never used condoms and I can definitely tell you, sex is a lot more enjoyable without 'em. I use an oral contraceptive, but if you were really worried about getting pregnant, you could use the pill and a spermicide or maybe you could try the NuvaRing or something like that. Just remember that the pill is 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy and condoms are only about 89% effective (they're more designed for preventing STDs, so if you're both clean, they're sort of unnecessary). Or if you really don't want kids, your husband can get "clipped"...they put clips on the vas deferens so your guy will shoot blanks until they take the clips off. It's like a reversible vasectomy. You can get it reversed when/if you want kids in the future.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
I don't even take my pills properly and I don't use any back-up methods. I hate condoms (hey, i'm in a relationship for a reason!) so once I make sure that guy is STI-free, i'm fine with just relying on my pill. I'm way more worried about diseases anyway.
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
I think you should trust your birth control pills more. They are extremely effective when taken properly. I've been using the pill as my only form of birth control for a little over 6 years and I've never had even the smallest scare. Having sex without a condom is fabulous. Now that you're married you should enjoy yourself!
goatimpact goatimpact 8 years
I do not think you are being uptight or paranoid. I am married and prefer using 2 methods of birth control. Many of my friends do as well. No method, when used correctly, can claim to be 100% effective. I prefer not taking a chance because I know that now is not a good time to have a child for us. My husband agrees and because he wants me to be comfortable and enjoy myself, he's happy to use multiple forms of birth control. However, if you and/or your husband are unhappy with the birth control you are using, you should look into alternate forms. I was on the pill and had some unpleasant side effects so I went off of it but still use 2 forms of birth control. There are many available options so maybe you can find a combination with which you both are happy.
clareberrys clareberrys 8 years
I think you are being a little uptight. I completely agree with skigurl. If you are on the pill and take it as you are prescribed to and he pulls out, then you should be fine. You don't know what you're missing out on by using feels so much better without them! And now that you are married it's perfectly okay to not use condoms!
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