Real women on how they don't get pregnant

[Photo: Pexels/Jasmine Jones]

The internet is littered with tips on how to get pregnant.  Fertility fetish in the west is rife. Tabloids and celebrity gossip websites are on “womb watch” 24/7, poised and ready to out the next celeb pregnancy; obsessing over bumps, weight gain and maternity wardrobes right up till the moment of birth.

But what if you don’t want to get pregnant? Just enjoy a shag minus the Beyoncé double baby bump? Aside from condoms and hormonal contraception, we were curious to find out what methods real life regular ladies were using to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Turns out quite a few. (A wee caveat here: we’re by no means advocating risky behaviour when it comes to contraception. There are 15 different methods of contraception available in the UK, visit here to decide which one works best for you.)

Siobhan, 26

“I feel like a lot of sex is geared towards getting the girl wet enough to facilitate penetrative sex. While that’s nice, it’s not the only way to have fun. It kind of annoys me when a guy thinks it is. When he kisses me for like, two seconds then heads straight down town. I’m like, no, no, I need more than that.  There are times when I’m having sex I don’t need to worry about getting pregnant; oral, anal, masturbating and using toys for example. Obviously there’s still the old STDs to consider so there’s an element of trust. Everyone should be going for regular sexual health checkups if they’re not in an LTR. I tend to be up front and ask my partners what the deal is with their sexual health. If they’re not game, I don’t play.”

Hanna, 23

“I’ve tried hormonal contraception in a few forms; combined pill, low-dose oestrogen, progestogen-only and the NuvaRing.  All forms eventually gave me really horrid side effects, mainly depression and suicidal thoughts so I had to stop.  Hormones aren’t an option for me, the mental cost is too high.  I only use condoms – latex free ones at that because I’m sensitive.  They work for me and I’m much happier using them.”

Kat, 30

“I’m in a long-term relationship and for the past year my boyfriend and I have been using a combination of condoms and fertility tracking. It’s a pretty old school method which involves keeping track of when I’m ovulating and either abstaining or using condoms during my fertile window. I never would’ve considered it as an option but then I read about an app called Natural Cycles which is supposed to be the only certified contraceptive app available. Every morning, before I get out of bed, I take my temperature with a basal thermometer, which is different from a normal fever thermometer, and enter the reading into the app. It analyses fluctuations in my basal temperature to tell me whether I’m having a “green” day (not fertile) or a “red” day (fertile). It takes a little getting used to; initially, while the app captures your data you have more red days than green but once it gets to know you a bit better you have more green days. You do have to be quite disciplined; if I’m sick, hungover or had a bad nights sleep it messes with my temperature and I have to skip measuring for that day and take extra precautions. It’s not for everyone but I find it suits my lifestyle and I like knowing what’s going on with my body, I find it empowering. If I ever do want a kid I’ll already be nailing it when it comes to my own fertility awareness!”

Daniella, 28

“When I was younger I used the withdrawal method quite a bit but then I had a thing with this one guy who was super unreliable. Basically, he couldn’t control himself enough not to come inside me and I had to fork out 25 quid for the morning after pill. You have to really trust the person you’re with and they have to be experienced enough to know when to pull out. Even then it’s not guaranteed to work. One of my mates reckons her kid is a pre-cum baby so I count myself pretty lucky not to be hitting my mid twenties with a kid pushing ten in tow.”

Stella, 33

“About four years ago I had an IUD fitted- the non-hormonal copper kind. It’s meant to be 99% effective and, well, so far no babies. I have to say though, having it fitted was like medieval torture so I’m a bit anxious about getting it removed. The IUD is good for up to ten years though so I guess I’ve got time to mull it over! That said it’s a small price to pay as I don’t have to think about taking a pill every day and anyway I’m not really into the idea of putting hormones in my body. The only side effect I’ve noticed is that my periods tend to be heavier. Obviously it doesn’t protect against STDs so I use condoms until I know the I’m the guy I’m seeing has the all clear.”

Josette, 36

“My husband and I have three boys. We definitely don’t want any more; our house is like a zoo! After the birth of my third son my husband agreed to have a vasectomy. To be honest, I thought it was the least he could do, I’ve carried and pushed out three babies and before that I was on the implant. I think I’ve done my part! We’re very happy with this arrangement.”

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