Today’s question is about contraception — specifically condoms. I take no responsibility, however, for Mark Gungor’s shockingly funny description of condom usage. See below:
“My question to you, however, is related to contraception. We have been discussing this on and off for a long time, and even after lots of research and reasoning, we’re still unsettled on what kind, or even whether or not contraception should be used (esp. condoms). What particularly got me was how Mark Gungor described using a condom (paraphrased): “trying to eat an ice cream cone with a sock on your tongue.” But neither of us want a baby any soon than AT LEAST a year of being married. Could you speak on how to enjoy marital sex while sacrificing the least amount of pleasure? I just wanna find a way to use a condom as little as possible…XD”
When it comes to condoms, I always think, “I’m the wrong person to ask!” Because if I’m being completely honest (and I have a history of that on this blog), I hated the feel of condoms. Logically, I know they are a good choice, but that barrier between skin simply didn’t feel good to me or my hubby. That said, I know a couple married something like 30 years who have always used condoms with no problems; they love ’em.
So after admitting my own personal aversion to condoms, what can I say about contraception? Here’s what I think:
There’s no one perfect contraceptive. You have to find what works for the both of you.
Condoms do limit skin contact, but they are easy to use, make clean-up a breeze, and many options are available. If one condom doesn’t feel good, you can try several others — test drive and find the kind you like.
Hormonal approaches can cause problems for some women. Not all, but some. For instance, oral contraceptives have been known to reduce sex drive or sensitivity in some women. For myself, I experienced a contraception-related bout of depression — but that was after years of using the little white pill successfully. If your wife wants to try a hormonal approach, just pay attention to her reactions and make sure everything is going smoothly.
Many people avoid barrier methods, but they work just fine once you know how to use them. After getting off oral contraceptives, I fell in love with the diaphragm. It was easy-peasy to use, and it worked. If you want to know more about that, you can read Want to Rave about Your Birth Control Method?
When you consult with your doctor, ask how the contraceptive works. Some contraceptives are abortifacients, meaning that they actually work after fertilization of the egg; they get rid of the embryo. As a devout Christian, I’d be looking for birth control that worked before fertilization. Just make sure you know what the process is for the form of birth control you’re considering and that you’re comfortable with it.
There’s always Family Planning. I’d be remiss not mentioning the planning method some believer couples use very effectively and happily. Engaged Marriage has written well about this method.
Nothing is 100% guaranteed and user error is the most common reason a birth control method doesn’t work. So finding what you will successfully use is most important.
Make this decision together as a couple and be willing to try different methods. Don’t let your doctor immediately talk you into one or the other, but ask questions about the relative advantages and disadvantages of each alternative.