• Tue, Oct 18 2011

Real Talk: How Do You Stay STD And Baby-Free?

You know what’s great? Avoiding unplanned pregnancies. It’s probably the best thing about being a responsible adult, besides maybe eating cake for dinner sometimes. So, in the wake of a certain internet fiasco, we decided to talk to a bunch of smart, responsible, female adults who 1) care about their health and 2) care about the health of their partners… and therefore practice safe sex.

This is not to say that people don’t make mistakes–condoms break and no form of birth control is 100% effective–but it is to say that adults who make mistakes learn from them. Otherwise, they’re not adults. So, for today’s Real Talk we asked women to tell us about their preferred methods of protection.

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  • eristotle

    Oh my god. IUD. IUD. Do I have to say it again? EYE. YOU. DEE.

    • Anniek

      This! Screw taking a pill every day, just go get a new IUD every 5 years. And in my case, no more periods! Yay!

  • missy

    Nuvaring. Seriously, you put it in once a month, you forget about it entirely until your period starts and then you put a new one in a week later. Rarely does either person feel it and even less often does it fall out. Plus it’s a super low dose, so I do not have any side effects from it and also BIRTH CONTROL DOES NOT CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN! http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110119141901.htm
    I hate that people are still holding on to that. The pill doesn’t make you fat. Also a latex allergy gal here and yes, poly condoms suck, but they keep you from getting AIDS and CANCER. AIDS AND CANCER!

  • Lauren

    For all the women in this Real Talk that said the pill makes them batty, emotional, or any type of crazy, please go to your doctor and change your pill! They are all different, and it could take a few tries to find the ones that’s right for you.

    I changed my pill recently because I started crying because we ran out of pink highlighters and work. Yeah. I did that. So, please tell your doctor the effects the pill is having on you and they will find a different one to give you. They all have different levels of hormones so it’s completely normal to need to change it.

    Other than that, I’m glad to read an article about so many woman being smart about sex. Thanks, it’s refreshing!

    • MM

      HBC sucks really, really hard for some people. I tried a few different pills and they ALL sucked for me, I had a range of physical symptoms, a bout of crushing depression and all in all felt weird and not myself. HBC is obviously great for lots of women, but for some of us it’s awful, and it’s almost socially unacceptable to not want to take hormones.

      (I’m not pulling a Cat Marnell, BTW. I always use a rubber & next time I find myself in a long term relationship with a dude I will get a diaphragm or something)

    • Laura

      Yeah I can’t take HBC either. I’ve tried several different pills and Depo and all of them make me COMPLETELY insane (like suicidal) and I don’t like not having a period, I’m way too paranoid. in July I was going to FINALLY get my IUD on my next period…the universe laughed at me and now I’m pregnant. SMH.

    • Eileen

      What I think is funny is how it’s totally socially acceptable not to want to eat anything that’s been treated with hormones, even when the FDA assures us that it’s safe – but not wanting to put synthetic pregnancy hormones into your own body? God, what the fuck is wrong with you?!!

      Condoms for the STDs, obviously, and the next time I’m in a monogamous relationship, I’m getting an IUD. But I’m more afraid of STDs than babies, so mostly condoms.

  • Celia

    NUVA RING!!!

    I’ve been on the pill, I’ve used condoms, and I didn’t like either. Enter the NuvaRing, and my husband and I have never been happier with our sex life. Of course, we’ve both been tested like good responsible adults.

  • Elizabeth

    tubal ligation. I’m 45 & done wanting more children. But, be real, if menopause hasn’t set in, I don’t want to get pregnant at 50.

    Condoms did wonders to stave off motherhood. Besides, sex is just such a mess; at least the condoms made it less messy. The pill was bad for me – meds for other things made this a no-go. Of course, not having sex is usually a pretty good method that I thankfully never have to deal with again.

    Condoms! STDs are not 100% identified by lab tests, there are false negatives, there’s the gap between infection and detectability, etc. etc.

  • Somnilee

    Just one none of your Real Talk ladies mentioned, I have an implant in my arm (Nexplanon). It lasts three years, and while different people I’ve heard have had different reactions from it, personally it’s cut my horrendous periods down to next to nothing (maybe a 2-3 day really light “bleed” every 2-3 months) and even taken most of the whack out of the crippling headaches I used to get. Plus, it’s in my arm, I can feel it there, I never have to worry about taking anything or remembering to go to the doctor to get the shot (which apparently my mother used to get).

    Being safety conscious/in university, it’s a habit to use condoms with new people until I get very comfortable with them. Even that guy that had never used a condom before? Yeah. I got him in one. And of course I expect people/myself to get checked for STDs.

    As a shout out to your RTer who had the latex allergy – welcome to the club! Especially the bit about latex-free condoms not being for the well endowed man. Apparently I forgot to mention my implant to that guy (I did, he forgot) so he was brilliantly happy when he found out he didn’t have to squeeze into something tiny any more!

  • Patricia

    I’m a mom courtesy of a defective condom and the realization I don’t have what it takes to get an abortion. I love it and do not regret it.

    However, I learned from my mistake and am back on the pill. I stopped taking it because I figured I was having sex so sporadically, I could afford to rely on condoms and – should it ever be necessary – what is called in America “plan B”. Yeah, turns out I’m the most fertile woman on the bloody planet.

    Anyway, in order to keep my super uterus under control, I am back on birth control pills and my boyfriend wears a condom everytime we have sex.

    Oh, as for those who say birth control makes you gain weight, I think those people are still taking pills made in the 60s. I always shed a few kilos after the second month I start taking it, as do all of my friends.

  • Kala

    I was one of those girls that just used condoms until one broke. That being the terrifying experience it was I tried Nuva Ring. I couldn’t ever figure out how to get the damn thing in and stay in. It made me bat shit crazy too! Then I went on the pill, but that gave me terrible migraines. So my doctor put me on Azurette (Mircette). It worked wonderfully, but I was terrible about taking the pills so we still used condoms. Finally, we decided to go with Mirena (IUD). It’s AWESOME! I don’t have to worry about anything, my boyfriend can’t feel it, and my periods are starting to get lighter and lighter. I’m not bat shit crazy and no out of the ordinary migraines. Oh and the best part… I’ve never had kids! It’s a total myth that you can’t get an IUD unless you’ve had children.

    Moral of the story – Keep going back to your doctor until you find something that works for YOU!!!

  • HerpesFish

    The emotional impact of discovering that you have STD can outweigh the physical health issues one has to deal with. Go to PozGroup.com to find support and other singles with STD in your area!

  • nunyadb

    I’m surprised only the last “real” slide even mentioned IUDs. I got mine in 2009, and I am now im-pregnable (haha) until 2015. It’s great, my period pretty much disappeared, no worry about remembering the pill or being moody, and as I am in a LTR no worries about condoms.

    I have tried the nuva-ring, and it was awful, every time I went to any sort of aerobics/cardio class, it would slowly work it’s way out. No thank you.

    The only negative I’ve found on the IUD is that it hurt like crazy when they put it in, I can only imagine how horrible child birth must be, but seriously I had weird terrible cramps for days, and I imagine it will be equally unpleasant when they remove it.

  • Maggie

    Yes, Nuvaring! I went on the pill at 15 because I was having crippling cramps and beyond horrible PMS symptoms, but as I got older I found my cramps were coming back and my periods were still really long and heavy. Enter the Nuvaring (literally): Pop it in for 3 weeks, take it out for 1, put a new one in. Bam. I’ve had no negative side-effects, my periods are shorter and lighter (from 6 days to 4, heyyo!), and neither myself or my boyfriend can feel it in there. Love it!