Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Painfull intercourse, pain with sexual activity, and pain that prevents sex or makes sex difficult.
WifeRN
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Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby WifeRN » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:53 am

My DH and I have been married almost 2 years and have struggled with PIV sex since day 1. I believe due to several factors. I struggle with dryness and low libido (combined oral contraceptive, endocrine issues). Additionally, I have 2 years of graduate school left, and so does my DH on a second bachelors. DH works full time, I work part-time, but we still have to use about $500.00 per month of student loans to make ends meet (no parental help and we have trimmed our budget all we can...we're talking ramen noodles and off brand cereal to eat frequently, very minimal eating out, only get new clothes by selling old ones at consignment stores).

So, I'm terrified of getting pregnant. At the current rate we are needing to borrow student loans we will have a combined student loan debt of $65,000, with realistic combined earnings of $100-110,000 in a low cost of living community. I believe the psychological stress of being in debt, combined with the perceived risk of pregnancy, makes sex somewhat unappealing to me as well. Emotionally, my husband and I have some unresolved tension between us because I feel angry he can't make more per hour with his first degree and he feels defensive (and probably hurt from my complaining).

I believe I have vaginismus. I never could wear tampons and used dilators prior to our wedding night. Both virgins prior to marriage and sex has been pretty frustrating due to me being in pain. We use condoms and oral contraceptive combined pill to absolutely minimize the chance of pregnancy. So, here's the dilemma. Sex is actually somewhat enjoyable and minimally painful when we do not use condoms. We have tried several with a variety of lubrications, but sex without condoms is significantly better. It is at the point that condoms hurt so bad I just don't want to have sex and he doesn't either due to not wanting to hurt me.

So this is the dilemma. Birth control pill has a 3% failure rate with normal use. Do I take the risk in order to enjoy sex and strengthen our marriage? I feel like a baby would hurt our marriage worse than painful sex in our current financial condition, but the bible places high importance on oneness and sex in a marriage. I am writing this after finally having enjoyable sex, but doing so after taking the first pill of my new birth control 8 hours late. (Finished old pack placebo week, switching from Zarah to Portia to try to help mood/sex drive). I do tend to take the pill late sometimes :(.

I am considering going to get plan B tomorrow. I feel like sex is just a big disappointing and risky mess. Where does God come into play here? I can't decide between faith or foolishness? It seems wise to keep using both, but at the expense of good sex? Should I trust God knows when we should have a baby? Help!!

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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby SeekingChange » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:37 am

I say ditch the condoms. It seems a little extreme to do both out of fear, which is a sin. You do need to trust God.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby ghostrider » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:39 am

Birth control pill has a 3% failure rate with normal use. Do I take the risk in order to enjoy sex and strengthen our marriage?


That is not 3% chance per time you ML, it's 3% per year, assuming regular love making without additional contraception. And it probably isn't even that high. I've read 1-2% for most types of pill. Which is basically no chance if used correctly. The vast majority of failures are from couples who "forget" to take the pills for several days for one reason or another (sometimes the woman subconsciously wants children?) I know of a couple who forget to take the pills for a several days/weeks and had unprotected sex anyway, knowing they were risking things. But taking your pill a few hours late isn't going to unprotect you. It takes days, often months for a pill taker to become fertile again. It took my mom 2 years off the pill before she could conceive me. That stuff stays in your system for a while. If you forget for more than a day, then you can use a condom for the rest of the month, but don't worry about it if you have actually taken the pills somewhat close to the instructions.

Now regarding the low libido - that is often due to the pills, it is one of the common side effects. I'm not sure if a hormonal IUD would be any better, but it might be a good option.

Additionally, I have 2 years of graduate school left, and so does my DH on a second bachelors. DH works full time, I work part-time, but we still have to use about $500.00 per month of student loans to make ends meet


Could you look for another job and/or slow down your grad school so you can work full time? When I was doing my MBA (at night), I worked for a bank full-time and they paid over half my tuition. Lots of big companies offer partial or full tuition reimbursement, at least for full-time employees. This can really reduce your dependence on student loans.

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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby wolfsphoenix » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:56 am

Agreeing with the others, ditch the condoms. The benefits to your marriage are so much more than "just" enjoying sex, it will build intimacy, help you both draw closer to each other, help you overcome the emotional obstacles of wanting to avoid sex, and just so much more.

The failure rate of bc is, as someone else said, 3% over all the women who use it, over an entire year -- if you are using it correctly (taking it late in the day is not missing a pill; you'd have to miss several pills, most likely, to lose the bc effect), you won't be in the 3%.

Stopping condom use will also free up a little in your budget (obviously, not tons, but still....).

re: your husband's job/hourly rate after only one degree --- very gently I would suggest you not degrade him over that, and also, please consider you are also working only a part time job after your first degree. Which is not to say either of you are wrong, but just to say....sometimes, first degrees lead to second degrees before leading to a comfortable salary. Those things will work out, as long as you guys build a strong foundation now....and enjoyable sex/getting over the barriers about sex will go a long, long way to that.

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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby doug-h » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:57 am

I really don't have anything to offer as far as the BC discussion, but I would like to address the issue of your husbands paycheck.

Please, be careful that you are not holding something against him that is beyond his control.
That can not do your marriage any good.

I have read that men can be sensitive about things. Well, I can tell you it goes way beyond that. There was a time when no matter what, I couldn't win. I was told I worked too many hours, was gone too much, and that I wasn't getting paid what I was worth. What I heard from that, was that I didn't make enough money.
I'm sure that DW did not intend to say that, but I was killing myself working insane hours, never home, and to be honest, I resented it greatly. I know she was behind me 100%, now, but the way she said it was extremely painful.

I certainly don't mean to say that if he isn't pulling his fair share, that he gets a pass, but if he is working and attending school, well, that really indicates to me that he is trying to build something long term.

Just be mindful of what you say, and make sure that you are not sending a message you don't mean to.

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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby dc9 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:25 am

The pill kind of destroyed the first couple of years of our marriage, since it killed DW's sexual desire almost completely. So it was a very effective contraceptive for us. She tried a bunch of different brands, but none was really good for her.

Then came the kids and we used a couple of different contraceptives during our baby making years. Condoms was the worst for us.

Now she has a hormonal IUD since six years, and according to DW it's the best that have ever happened to our sex life. Close to 100% effectiveness and no side effects for her. Her desire is as good as without any contraceptive, and on the bonus side she has no periods.


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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby ghostrider » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:40 am

Is it possible to get an IUD before having a kid? I've heard both yes and no...

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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby Txtwinmom » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:47 am

My DH and I have been in your shoes. We were both in college full time for the first 5 years of our marriage. I was on the BC pill but there weren't many options back in the 80s. Pregnancy was one of those things that seemed to constantly hang over our heads but we dealt with it. We talked about it and had a plan if I did get pregnant and came to the conclusion that it would not be the end of the world. As it turned out I had a great deal of difficulty getting pregnant when we did decide to have children. All of that worry for nothing. I had friends that did get pregnant when the husband was out of a job, she was a stay at home mom and they had two older children. The last thing they needed was to have a child. 25 years later they are still together doing very well and all three children are doing great. She went back to school and is now a well respected teacher and he owns his own business All of this to say, you can't predict the future. You are borrowing trouble where there is none.
Loose the condoms and enjoy sex with your husband as often as you can. Learn to appreciate everything about now. If now changes drastically then you will survive and thrive in the new now as well.
One last piece of advice. You must learn to respect your husband. Being upset with him for not earning enough is not respecting him. If he is doing something wrong talk to him about it but don't carry a grudge around. Deal with the issue and then let it go. Respect for your DH is huge. It sounds like you both are dealing with a lot and good communication is essential.
"Sex is not the answer, Sex is the question. "Yes" is the answer!". Swami X

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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby WifeRN » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:42 am

doug-h wrote:I really don't have anything to offer as far as the BC discussion, but I would like to address the issue of your husbands paycheck. Please, be careful that you are not holding something against him that is beyond his control. That can not do your marriage any good.

Doug-h, I really appreciate your input. I often do not place enough weight on his feelings because he is very level headed and does not show his feelings outwardly a good majority of the time, but he has verbally expressed he feels he can't do anything right. He is working overtime to try to make ends meet (makes between 11-13/hr w. Over time factored in and gets health insurance for us both) and because my program is so intensive (recommended not to work, but I do anyways) he also helps a lot around the house with grocery shopping, laundry, does any maintenance himself (we bought a house right when we got married...bad decisions, I thought I would be working as an RN for several years but another opportunity opened up, thankfully the mortgage is 200$ cheaper than rent for a one bedroom in our town).
Txtwinmom wrote:You must learn to respect your husband. Being upset with him for not earning enough is not respecting him. If he is doing something wrong talk to him about it but don't carry a grudge around. Deal with the issue and then let it go. Respect for your DH is huge. It sounds like you both are dealing with a lot and good communication is essential.

Txtwinmom, thank you for your response. I tend to borrow worry wherever I can get it from. We have been to a few marriage counseling sessions with a Christian counselor and this is a theme that had come up---undue worry. I have a family member who will need 24hr care for life that my family is looking to me to take care of when my parents can no longer do it. This has been an ongoing tension concerning the financial aspects of our life. The bible says we are worse than nonbelievers if we do not care for our family, but we also aren't supposed to dwell on monetary needs.

This tension between being wise and saving for our retirement and my very possible future position of caring for an intellectually disabled adult over resting in the promises of God has been crippling. We are in our early twenties and I'm worried about our situation 15-30 years from now. It's a problem. And DH is doing very little wrong, nothing beyond being human. He puts a little pressure on me for sex, but I don't blame him at all and I haven't been good about offering alternatives to PIV. I've been praying for God to change my heart toward him and in the last week I've actually wanted to have sex with him, but only have once because of the condom issue. I really do appreciate your response!
dc9 wrote:The pill kind of destroyed the first couple of years of our marriage, since it killed DW's sexual desire almost completely. So it was a very effective contraceptive for us. She tried a bunch of different brands, but none was really good for her.

dc-9, I'm going on 10 years of BC pill use. I started in early high school due to debilitating periods. I am considering an IUD. This is also why I switched to the Portia pill because it has the same progesterone in it as the mirena IUD. This makes me want to act on trying it ASAP. Thank you!

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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby FoxluvsBunnyDFC » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:39 pm

I'm so sorry you are having these issues :(

I would say... do not use condoms if you are having decently good sex without them! Sex really is so important to a marriage. So many people have used the pill successfully for years. Can you put an app on your phone to remind you to take it at a certain time each day? Also, the pill could make sex less enjoyable and lower your desire... i know you are on it for your periods too, but there are other methods to look into with lower hormones (mini pill) or fertility awareness or a diaphragm. we personally use fertility awareness (Charting my cycles plus withdrawal... we initially didn't love, but we get more and more used to it, so it's becoming just what we do, and we both enjoy things and i don't worry at all about a potential pregnancy as long as i didn't mess up a chart and i think our method is slightly less effective than the pill)

I will say regarding kids... while i believe that it is wise to wait if the Lord has laid it on your heart that it's the best decision for your family, over worry is not great. Like others have said, i know young couples who got pregnant in their early 20s and life went on! It works, if the Lord gives you a baby. My DH and I, in our mid 20s, are in a similar financial situation to you (70k of student debt, and btwn the 2 of us only making about 70k right now)... and as soon as we have worked out our marital issues that we are dealing w/ and have a bit more time just us to build that foundation, we plan to try; or really stop preventing; babies (in a year or so). Part of this is because i have a potential fertility issue ( i have an endocrine condition) so we want time to work w/ since having a family is a deep yearning in both of our <3s, and really more have a fear of waiting too long, regardless of us not feeling "ready) because of our circumstances (believe me on paper we are NOT ready... for us being ready is more about having a solid marital foundation, not tons of material things)... but i'm telling you this because you will never feel ready. your ducks will never be fully in a row... our ducks aren't... but maybe you should revisit the idea of only being ready when conditions are perfect, cause they may never be...

that said, i agree, it may be a crazy time right now w/ grad school, so i encourage you try to find a BC method that does not hinder your enjoyment, and then trust the Lord with it; and in the 3 or so percent chance that He gives you a baby, realize it's a gift (believe me, i know many people who struggle with infertility or who never got that gift for various reasons) Blessings :D
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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby WifeRN » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:00 pm

Hi Foxluvsbunny, thank you for your reply! I have been so back and forth on this issue, but everyones responses and reading this forum are helping me feel more peace about the small chance I could get pregnant on just the pill. I have an autoimmune related endocrine issue as well. So, as someone else had pointed out above, I may be experiencing all this worry for absolutely nothing. I also am suspected to have a bleeding disorder that we haven't been able to confirm because of inconclusive lab results. So that is also a risk for miscarriage and if I were to get pregnant I would automatically be considered high risk.

I do think my ability to be aroused is effected by the pill, but since we quit using condoms recently we have had so much more sex. So I believe I will be able to stay on the pill and still have a healthy marriage bed as long as we stay away from condoms. I don't think I communicated well what I was looking for through posting my original post. I think at the heart of it I want confirmation that a child would be a blessing and that I'm not being irresponsible by only using the pill. These responses have definitely made me feel better.

It's sad that even within the church young married couples are looked upon as being irresponsible for having a baby before having all their ducks in a row. Like you said, this is really something I need to reevaluate. I'm never going to feel financially ready and maybe not even emotionally/spiritually.

I also have recently identified through counseling that I live with this feeling of never being good enough for my parents. My mom has made her opinion of us having kids very clear. She thinks there is no way you can have an unplanned pregnancy. She tells me if we're being responsible we won't get pregnant and has said she would be disappointed if I got pregnant. (Remember, I'm a twenty something in GRAD school, I already have a nursing degree.) So, this really effects my ability to have peace with pregnancy. I have spent my whole life trying to please my parents and not measuring up so this is an area I will have to keep working through, but I think I wanted to come to the message board just to hear people say "go for it!" so I could have some support.

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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby doug-h » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:47 pm

Looks like you are just thinking things out, and there is nothing at all wrong with that. Actually, it is a very good thing. Just don't let all the "what if's" paralyze you.
Not sure exactly how to guarantee not having an unplanned pregnancy, without abstaining altogether. That wouldn't be good.
Without putting too fine a point on things, The next time your mother tries to decide what is best for your family, perhaps you could find a polite but direct way to tell her to "Butt out". Not saying she's wrong, or right, it just isn't her business.

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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby 2pack » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:09 am

Txtwinmom wrote:Learn to appreciate everything about now. If now changes drastically then you will survive and thrive in the new now as well.


This thread and the other "Fear of reaction to potential pregnancy" get at a portion of our society, even christians, that is getting it wrong. Our culture is almost entirely fear based. About everything really. Having children, money, occupation, sex, raising children, change, future, how people view you, failure...the list goes on and on and on. And learning to have faith that God can see you through circumstances? It's a nice sermon to hear but no one wants to live through it and will do everything on earth to avoid it. Hedge all your bets in life to keep faith out of the equation. Work two jobs, neglect the family to try to make as much money as we can so we can take faith out of the equation. Worry about college and retirement and stress about saving as much as you can so you can take faith completely out of that equation too. We try to control everything including people and circumstances. Plow forward and do whatever WE think is best and THEN ask God to bless it. What about asking Him what He wants in the first place then making decisions?
What about the blessing of an "unwanted" pregnancy early in marriage? I remember being so stressed out when our second child was born. Fear. Fear of money and provision. Nice one enemy. Steal the joy of such a gift. He's 13 now. I surf with him nearly every day when school is out. Build snowboards with him, teach him all kinds of stuff. He adds so much to our life.
Satan comes to steal and destroy and fear over "what if" is one of his biggest weapons. It sucks the life out of life itself. Don't get me wrong, I understand the pill. We used it too. I had the surgery after four kids BUT if something beyond my comprehension happened and we found out a child was on the way, we would be able to embrace that with joy and faith.
Life is uncertain and "unwanted" pregnancies, job losses, business failures - these are all opportunities to increase our faith and deepen our relationship with God and really should be viewed that way. I'm not so much preaching at you (maybe this post should be it's own thread because I don't mean to pick on you) as I am saying that worry will steal your life. Not getting pregnant, making more money and having a fat retirement may not be a blessing at all, in fact a real blessing just may be getting pregnant, a job loss or the loss of all your savings. Sometimes blessings don't look like blessings at first. Try to live life with more of an open hand to let God do His work and try to realize that any perceived setback is simply an opportunity to build faith.
I'm a moth flyin' into the light of it's doom - You wrap me up in your love cocoon...

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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby WifeRN » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:11 am

2pack,
2pack wrote: I'm not so much preaching at you (maybe this post should be it's own thread because I don't mean to pick on you)

Nope, this is what I came here for. This isn't being preached at. The christian faith isn't logical and the world says having a baby in our situation and our age is crazy. I totally agree we do everything we can to take faith out of the equation. Then when something unexpected happens we blame ourselves or others instead of seeing what God can make out of it. I've just been told I was irresponsible or rebellious most of my life for little things and I know this isn't what my parents want (I think they would prefer we be abstinent until we can afford to pay for THEIR retirement) so I wanted to come to a christian community and hear the other side. Thank you!

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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby ghostrider » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:58 am

I also have recently identified through counseling that I live with this feeling of never being good enough for my parents.


Did your counseling equip you to properly start dealing with these feelings so that you aren't held hostage to your parent's opinion forever?

I've found in marriage that my spouse's opinions and acceptance of me become 100x more important to me than my parent's. Also, if you DID become pregnant while on the pill, you could honestly tell your parents that you did everything you could to prevent it, but it happened anyway (you don't have to give a blow by blow of what time of day you took the pill, when/how you had sex or any of that). You aren't in high school and aren't living in your parents home anymore. You don't owe anyone an explanation, beyond - we used BC, and it failed. Stuff happens....

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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby SeekingChange » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:07 pm

ghostrider wrote: You don't owe anyone an explanation, beyond - we used BC, and it failed. Stuff happens....

You could share that out of a respect for your parents, but it's not "owed".
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Is enjoying sex worth the risk?

Postby mushels » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:26 pm

To answer you question, Yes. Enjoying sex is definitely worth the risk. Birth control pills are very reliable. I know everyone has their own priorities and goals in life but I thought I would share my story with you. My DH and I met in Bible school and got married right after finishing. He was almost 21 and I was 23. We had our first son a month after our one year wedding anniversary. My parents thought it was too soon as well but as soon as they saw my son they fell in love. I stopped working to stay home with my son. It was a struggle to make it financially but we decided that for us it was the right decision for me so we just cut back. I started a home daycare for a while. Then we went to Africa for a few years and set up homes for street children. We had two more kids.

Now we are back here and I still stay home with my children. My husband works full time and we live in my parents small basement suite. Is it the most comfortable life? No. Are we happy? Absolutely. God has been able to use us to do good work in other people's lives. We had no money to start with and have seen God provide over and over again not only for our family but also for the people He has called us to serve. Do we wish sometimes we had a bigger house? Yes. Would we change anything or have waited to have our children in order to do that? No way.

Most of my friends who have kids the same age are way older then us. They chose to wait and that worked for them too. I have other friends who waited to have children to feel more financially secure. Now they are having trouble conceiving and have to pay tons of money on IVF, etc. I think you are wise to try to wait to have children until you are done school and able to pay off some loans so you are not so far in debt. But if something happened and you did become pregnant, you would make it through. You would love your child and your faith would grow. Plus your marriage would be on stable ground because you are connecting with each other and able to enjoy sex.


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