Birth control options when things are limited

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MisterV
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Birth control options when things are limited

Postby MisterV » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:03 am

I'm hoping that there might be someone here with some tips.
We have 2 DDs over 10 years of marriage. Most of that time was with no birth control because we were trying for children. Following each birth my wife went on the pill for BC, and a few months ago she had a physical and was old enough to where they ran a blood panel. Bad news: the hormonal birth control was messing with her liver. Good news: she hasn't been taking it that long in total :D. Big question was "what do we do now".

DW doesn't want an IUD and I don't blame her. There are some ethical questions around them and installation and maintenance sounds like something I would't be lining up to do, so I'm not going to even suggest it again. We settled on NFP plus condoms (both at the same time) because the published failure rates of these on their own were pretty high at the high end.

Fast forward a few months. My wife says that she doesn't care for the feel or smell of condoms, and we had several cases where the semen was forced down and out of the condom*. :| . OK, I bring up a vasectomy (after our last daughter she commented that two seemed fine). She deferred an answer for a while, then told me that she wanted another child. That's another issue, but suffice to say I'm not so sure. While the pregnancy, labor, delivery and recovery weeks afterwards was a very intimate time for me, as I was focused almost entirely on my wife and caring for her, which was a positive, there are definite negatives. Kids are expensive, two fit nicely in our house/car/life, I saw exactly what she went through for each pregnancy (though she claims not to remember it), and every time I worry that there will be complications that may lead to her serious injury or death. I also have some minor reproductive issues that I suspect lead to my being more likely to "throw an X" and I already have two girls. I've already had the talk from my dad that I don't have the right to make the call on my own and stop by the doctors on the way home from work one day, so a vasectomy on the "down low" is off the table.

So now we're down to NFP and (for me) dreading that it will fail (I'm not sure if my wife would be bothered much). We use the iCycleBeads app to make it a bit easier and because my wife isn't interested in checking mucous. I pad a few extra days on, but still worry a bit and that leaves us with about a week and a half of sexual activity a month (she doesn't want to do anything during her period), and with kids that turns into about 2-3 PIV encounters per month, which I know is better than many here but is frustrating for me.

I'm working on trying to figure out alternate activities that she's OK with, but that's been difficult, too (she doesn't like to talk about sex, possibly some Hispanic cultural or Roman Catholic legacy thing). Anything I've missed or tips from anyone here?

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Re: Birth control options when things are limited

Postby ledgemoor » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:16 am

Don't worry, the effects of HBC will not be permanent.

Have you looked into barrier methods -- Caya diaphragm, Femcap, Today Sponge and the like?

Diaphragms used to be very popular. That's what we used. Mom too.

There was a Seinfeld episode where the main girl (can't remember the character's name) was in a dither because they were discontinuing the sponge. Not to worry, they are available again, OTC.
Everything you ever wanted in life is just outside your comfort zone (Jamie Lee Curtis)

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George B.
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Re: Birth control options when things are limited

Postby George B. » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:30 pm

thanks for the question.

it definitely sounds like your options are limited. We had a somewhat similar situation for several years. Our solution ended up being FAM, which is what NFP plus condoms (or other barrier method) is called. As far as condoms go, we had to really look around for the right ones for U.S and our situation before we found ones that worked. We also had the semen squeezing out thing until we found ones that fit right. That was a big help once we found ones that fit correctly. Also, there is some variety available for condom material, such as lambskin, which might be preferable to you and your wife in terms of feel and smell (lambskins have their own unique smell, but its not a latex smell). Anyway, having tried most condoms out there, I can certainly give you feedback on different types. agree with the suggestion on other barrier methods like the diaphragm. If your wife is willing to give something like the sponge or diapghram a shot, that might be a good solution.

Using an app is a great idea. I recommend it be paired with a good ovulation thermometer to get the most accurate readings. We used FAM for years and only had one “accident” which was the fault of the condom we were using, not FAM. And it really wasn’t the condom either—more like user error.
Anyway, hope that helps. Feel free to respond or PM me if you have any other questions.
On sex: "Neither men nor women will be asked to throw away the weapon they have used victoriously. It is the beaten and the fugitives who throw away their swords. The conquerors sheathe theirs and retain them."-C.S. Lewis

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Job29Man
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Re: Birth control options when things are limited

Postby Job29Man » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:25 am

MisterV wrote:...Big question was "what do we do now"... We settled on NFP plus condoms (both at the same time) because the published failure rates of these on their own were pretty high at the high end.
As George would testify, FAM success rates are really good.

MisterV wrote: ... She deferred an answer for a while, then told me that she wanted another child. That's another issue, but suffice to say I'm not so sure...


Brother MV,

Congratulations on having two fine daughters! :D
I'll offer a few thoughts for your consideration, what is surely a different perspective, perhaps one that you haven't heard much of.

Please don't read any of this as a "scold" or a "lecture." That's not my heart here. This is the heart of a father, husband, older man, pastor, who has a different perspective that you might consider and pray about.

Your wife says she wants another child. You are thinking probably you do not. So the question that I see is "How many 'yes' votes does it take to decide to have another child?" Right?

Your post indicates that you believe that one "no" vote trumps one "yes" vote. Right?

OK, allow me to challenge that. Stay with me OK? Why? Why does the spouse who doesn't want another child automatically prevail? God designed marriage to be "fruitful." When we marry and bear "fruit" (children) in our young, childbearing years we are fulfilling the design of sex in marriage. (I am NOT saying procreation is the only purpose of sex.)

When we bear children there is nothing "broken" about our sex life, about our marriage. It is good in the eyes of God. We can definitely say "this is a good thing. God is pleased with us. God approves of this fertility. He likes it." You can say that with absolute certainty. Right? I mean unless another child will harm your physical health, or put you into deep poverty, or put one of you into emotional distress/mental illness, etc. Right?

Don't misread me here. I'm not saying "God says you MUST have another child!" What I'm saying is that you can know for absolute fact that God is pleased with the idea that you bear a child. He is not going to look down from Heaven and say "Oh no! Big mistake! Mister and Mrs V had a third child. I'm so displeased about that! They went against against My design for marriage!"

You said that two children fit neatly into your current house, your current car, your current life. Well, um ... yes. So you are saying basically "two is convenient. Two is comfortable. I don't have to stretch much with two children. And your mind maybe goes to "bunkbeds, minivan, diapers, money." Bro, that's all just "stuff." Yes that "stuff" costs money, but ... you have been blessed with a wife who wants another child, and she's a good mother, right? And you are a good father, right? And your daughters are good kids, good sisters, right?

If these things are all good, and your marriage and home are full of love and peace, and you have the ability and work ethic to provide for another child, another blessing from God, and you wife says "Husband, I want another child" ... Brother, what holds you back? (please do NOT read this as condemnation -- it's a challenge) Why would you say to her "No wife, I will not give you another child. I do not want to provide for another child."?

Brother, God designed your wife to be a mother. She's a good mother who wants to bear another child. She is feeling the call to mother another. Give her another. Tell her that you would be happy to love another child.

Back to my original question "How many yes votes are needed to decide for another child?"
What if you changed your mind and said "One. One yes is all we need." ?

Or looked at another way. When you got married, in your Christian wedding I'll bet you acknowledged that your marriage includes God Himself. It's you, her, and God, right? So, consider that God has a say in this.

Do you really, deep in your heart, being totally honest with yourself -- Do you truly see God as saying "No. No, I say 'no' to another child!" ? Really?

If you think of it as "My wife says yes. Our God says yes. Who am I to say 'no' to them?"

My wife and I, and sooooo many people we know, look at their children and think "I am so very glad that I didn't stop when my first thought was "that's enough." I would not "give back" that 3rd, 4th, (etc) child for all the money in the world! I am a richer man/woman because of that "extra" child!"

Just a thought.

Shalom,

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Re: Birth control options when things are limited

Postby MisterV » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:22 am

@Job29man, a big part of the issue now is that I'm at kind of a low point as far as kids are concerned. Often I get home from work thinking "oh great, now I have to pretend to be excited to see them" or something similar (I usually wind up working with kids at least half of my day at work, so it isn't a change coming home). There are plenty of days when I feel like my wife and I are co-workers in the business of unpaid nannying. Yesterday we had about 1-2 minutes of tender touch, max and no non-kid, non-plans talk. I went to bed and was asleep before she came in (she rocks our youngest until she is completely asleep, which is sweet I guess but I read it as another instance of "my being a mom is much more important than us being spouses"), and then I wake up in the middle of the night with a kid between us kicking me. Any interaction between us is at the convenience of the kids.
It's even impacting my relation with God. Though I know there's no scriptural basis for it I now associate
"Heavenly Father" with God in heaven thinking "I wish those whiny humans would just leave me in peace." I haven't prayed in quite a while. It was OK with the first one, something about the second just overloaded me and I don't know how to straighten things around.
Now that DW has brought up the third my thoughts go back and forth between "we've managed to have two without anything bad happening, why risk a third" (to make it worse someone in a different division at work recently died from childbirth complications) and "if we have another I won't get my life back until I'm 60". DW discounts the first and doesn't know about the second. Rational thinking with cost/benefit analysis doesn't help either, on kids it doesn't come out very positive.

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Re: Birth control options when things are limited

Postby MisterV » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:34 am

@GeorgeB,

I'm a little confused by FAM. In some writeups it seems as though it is using a condom for PIV during the infertile period and then not having PIV at all during the fertile period, in others it seems as though you can have "unprotected sex" (rather a nasty term, but I guess it is the technical one) during the infertile period. I don't think I would be comfortable using condoms during the fertile period at all because of the way my wife seems to be most comfortable ML - some nongenital foreplay for her, rush to penetration, she wants me to orgasm and ejaculate then I clamp down my PC muscles and try and hold enough of an erection for her to attain orgasm, which gives plenty of time for semen to work out of the condom. I wish I could figure out a way to do more genital foreplay or OS or really anything so she was comfortable orgasming first, but it's hard to get her to talk about it. I have been able to get her comfortable with some external genital/genital rubbing during the "no sex" times, which is a small step.

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Re: Birth control options when things are limited

Postby George B. » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:48 am

Not sure what you’ve been reading on FAM, but the way we practiced it successfully (and according to the research we had at the time) was that we would have bareback sex during non-fertile times and would use condoms during the few days every month when she was fertile. I don’t recommend this for everyone but we would actually do PIV without a condom during fertile times until near ejaculation and then stop and put it on and finish. That worked well for years. But it requires good PC muscles and awareness of impending orgasm and great self control. And you can’t have any sperm left in your urethrea from a previous ejaculation (though pre-ejaculate clear liquid is fine, from the research I’ve seen)
As far as the condom goes, I can see why you’re experiencing leakage. You’re supposed to withdraw almost immediately so you dont lose your erection or have it go down at all. Also, it’s supposed to unroll all the way to the base of your penis and fit snugly the whole time, with room left in the tip for semen collection. If all that is correct, then condoms should work great. Our one failure was due to one of those factors not being in place.

I would recommend that you consider changing up how you guys do PIV sex, at least when you use a condom. The pattern you have now is fine for most of the month but won’t work during fertile times when you’re wearing a condom, unless you wear an erection ring to maintain your erection. Otherwise, you’ll need to withdraw when you ejaculate and find some other way to help her orgasm.

Hope that helps.
On sex: "Neither men nor women will be asked to throw away the weapon they have used victoriously. It is the beaten and the fugitives who throw away their swords. The conquerors sheathe theirs and retain them."-C.S. Lewis

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Didn't answer the questions

Postby Job29Man » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:33 pm

MisterV,

Hmm. You didn't really respond to my question or challenge.

I'm asking (again -- picture this with me smiling and talking kindly) "Who are you to deny her request?" and "What makes you think that one spouse's 'no' means the discussion is over?" Your answers are all basically "I just really don't want to have another child."

That's avoidance.

I'm trying to push you a bit, asking you to stretch yourself, asking you to consider an entirely different way of looking at things. "Iron sharpening iron" ... But it appears you are having none of it.

Again, this is not intended as a scold or reprimand. You came here with a question about reliable contraception options, and I responded with basically...

"I question your premise; you are asking the wrong question. I'm challenging you to re-examine your priorities and your doctrine of marriage. I think you may be wrong to refuse your wife in this, and somebody needs to challenge it."

If you decline to re-examine your motives, of course that is your decision. But I'm the kind to push people to consider that their priorities may be wrong. I guess it's the pastor in me, challenging people's reasons and motivations is what I do; it's my role. If you don't want to re-examine yourself, I understand. I just wanted to point out that that is what you are doing.

My answer to the "most effective, moral, contraception" question? IMHO George B. has your best option, or go with diaphragm. It's not popular today (because of HBC mostly), but it works. But you are not going to find ANY method that is convenient, effective, moral, affordable, pleasurable, comfortable, and doesn't involve abstinence all at the same time. If it existed some company would be raking in BILLIONS of dollars today.

OK, I'll be quiet now. :D

Peace,

Job (the stone in your shoe?) :lol:
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

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Re: Birth control options when things are limited

Postby MisterV » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:02 am

So essentially I need to be looking at this as an opportunity to demonstrate sacrificial love by putting my wife's desires ahead of my own.

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Re: Birth control options when things are limited

Postby SteelToeBoots » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:54 pm

For my wife and I, we track her cycle and use a condom during the fertile times, and I tend to play it safe and use one a little earlier than and a little later after the fertile window. We've done this for three years now since the birth of our last child and it's worked out so far. I HATE condoms, but it's on average of 2 to 4 times a month I have to use them, so it's tolerable.

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Re: RE: Re: Birth control options when things are limited

Postby pseudoR » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:13 pm

^^^ That's what we do too. My wife knows her body and when she's fertile. We have only conceived when we wanted and feel it's God's plan if an accident happens.


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