It’s time for another educational podcast–this time on contraception!
Plus we talk with Patrick Weaver about the recent #DearBrian dust-up, where that pastor from Utah told women to cover up and not show skin on Instagram, like pictures with their newborn babies.
Great discussion with Patrick–and I hope the beginning with Keith was educational too!
Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube:
Timeline of the Podcast
3:00 Let’s talk Birth Control (disclaimers)
5:35 Natural Family Planning
11:15 The Pill
32:15 Interview with Patrick Weaver
Main Segment: Education Time about Birth Control!
We had so many people saying that last week’s podcast on the sexual response cycle was helpful that we decided to do another educational segment about different contraception options!
We handled this like we did in our new books The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex. We give the pros and cons of each method, but we don’t tell you what to do, because it’s ultimately up to you. Some people have moral objections to anything that interferes with fertility, and some have health objections to anything that interferes with her hormones. So let’s look at all the options–because there’s nothing that’s 100% easy and perfect and always works. There are always trade-offs!
I asked in my Instagram stories this week about favourite birth control methods, and I shared some of your responses in the podcast, but I’ll share more on Facebook later today too!
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Patrick Weaver Joins Us to Talk about Lust–and How Men Can Be Involved in Change
I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Patrick Weaver on Facebook over the last few months, and he’s been a great voice standing up against abuse and asking men to step up to the plate.
If you don’t follow him on Facebook, you should, because he’s very no-nonsense.
We opened our conversation talking about the #DearBrian tweet from last week, which I “fixed” on Instagram:
Our conversation then turned to how we can get more men speaking up for healthy relationships. We have so many great guys and great commenters on this site, and we have so many great guys in our Patreon as well, but how do we engage with men more? Patrick had some good thoughts.
Things Mentioned in This Podcast:
- Our Patreon! Support us for as little as $5 a month and help us get our research into peer reviewed journals. Plus you can join our rocking Facebook group and get unfiltered podcasts!
- Pre-Order The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex or The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and you can get our pre-order bonuses: awesome Evangelical Sex Report Card and an invitation to join our launch team!
- Our original birth control series plus the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility
- Patrick Weaver’s Facebook Page and his Instagram
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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Thought-provoking interview! All good but I found the part about involving more men in conversations about misogyny in church really challenging. Having been involved in a few male on female dustups around these issues (online and in IRL), I know this is something I can do better at personally. Especially online, it’s very hard to “read the room” and to get a sense of a person’s tone and intent. Disagreement can come off as more intense and pointed than it would in an in person conversation. Not to mention, the participants don’t usually know each other at all, which increases the potential for misunderstanding.
With that in mind, I am trying to think of practical things we can do as people who want to move this conversation forward. How useful is it really to engage online? How do we get better at hearing people who are well-meaning but perhaps uneducated on issues we have thought about and experienced deeply? How do we move these dialogues into the real world?
I’m throwing out a lot of thoughts, I am curious to hear what others experiences and thoughts are.
These are great questions, CMT! I hope others chime in because that’s important.
I’ve found the most helpful thing is to work out who your ‘audience’ is when discussing misogyny.
Some people just don’t get it because they’ve never experienced it or seen it. Sharing personal experience with people like this can be very helpful because it’s hard to argue with, and also it can open up their eyes to the reality of what so many women face. These kind are not hostile, just ignorant, and I think it is worth engaging with them. As long as you don’t sound like you’re judging them, they’re usually open to considering what you say. My husband used to be in this category when we first met. He’s a genuine nice guy, treats everybody with equal respect and it didn’t even cross his mind that there could be Christian men out there who behave differently – he was so shocked when I first shared some of my experiences with him.
Others are actively hostile, either because they’ve been taught to believe that woman are making a fuss about nothing or because they are angry at any criticism of their own misogynistic behaviour. The first ones are unlikely to listen to anything women have to say because of how they’ve been raised, but can be reached by other men. But those who are hostile because they resent any interference with their way of life are unlikely to be changed by anything – except maybe a jail sentence when their abusive ways go too far.
Those sound like very good distinctions to make. I think you’re right that there is a category of people who have, shall I borrow a phrase, “hard hearts” and won’t be reached by any words of mine. I’d suggest another category too: men (and some women) who are rather misogynistic in that they do treat people differently, but see this as so self-evidently “normal” and “God-ordained” that they don’t realize it is harmful or might be a fair subject to question. These, and the “you’re making a fuss about nothing” types are, to me, the most frustrating to try to engage with because I feel like there is probably a lot of common ground there if we could only stand on it. But it’s so easy for all involved to get defensive and stop hearing each other.
I think with people who are misogynistic but not entirely closed minded, you can try dropping a question or statistic into conversation and asking them what they think about it. Think of how a dripping tap wears away a stone over time!
I do think it is easier to engage with people in real life though – it’s harder to dismiss comments from someone you actually know. But I do still try to engage with people online, though I won’t spend too much time on it. The problem with online debate is that it can degenerate very quickly, so I tend to raise one point for consideration and then don’t respond unless there seems to be an openness. Sometimes online discussion can feel like a waste of time, but I’m encouraged by the occasional message I’ve received over the years indicating someone has changed their views because of it.
I have experienced more misogyny amongst other women in women’s Bible studies more than men in church. In the women’s Bible studies I have attended throughout the years, these women will talk about how evil feminists are and that all feminists hate men and are pro-choice. Well, no wonder I could never say I consider myself a feminist because I believe in equal rights for both sexes. If I said that, I would be criticized and whenever I do point out the verse about mutual submission, there’s dead silence.
Also women telling other women that you are never allowed to say no to your husband’s requests even when you are sick and have other things on your plate. Your husband gets the final say and his word is law even if you disagree with him. It just sounds so legalistic and rigid. This is why I don’t want to be in women’s Bible studies anymore.
Yes! I often find sharing personal stories, and also sharing our stats from our surveys, works better than arguing the theology, etc.
I’ve gotten some ideas through to others by analogies I have found in the comments on this blog. If a person can find a similar situation/scenario that isn’t as loaded with preconceived beliefs/emotions, sometimes the logic can speak for itself if you start with that then transition to the actual situation you are trying to address. That tends to put both me and the other person in a calmer state of mind than on the defensive, too. But, as others have commented, not everyone is receptive. I’m also learning that sometimes, when a heart of stone is involved, it is ok to shake off the “dust” from them and move on.
For me and the family that I have to win over, it’s going to be a lot of conversations. During the outage, I had a conversation with a brother about the overall examples of couples in scripture vs. The few verses that seem to say, submission is the one an only way. And my own discoveries in early marriage.
Something that might be happening to affect this: when in the near future, my brother gets married, the “reformed abuser” husband might be trying to come back to family events. Which is hard, because that sister, through her boundaries and hard knock lessons, is my Ally. She’s learned the hard way that Sheila’s line on marriage is the only way to be healthy. And she had more influence on mom. But that doesn’t make me feel any better or comfortable being in her husband’s presence. Even changed, he’s got to face the relational consequences of being a liar and a scumbag. (He was extremely popular with the whole family but me, until she finally told us the truth. Now nobody feels like being at an event with him. Though it’s been almost 3 years since the blow up.)
Also my sister, well known for her verbally abusive behavior, has seemingly gotten better. Because she finally realized that maybe she would try therapy. A long journey to undoing past behavior, but it appears to have started? An interesting angle for change, because my parents are apparently wary of actual therapy.
Recently began listening to the podcast and found a lot of value in a rarely voiced perspective when it comes to lust and porn use being the responsibility of the sinner to overcome. With maturity in my faith and the sanctification of the holy spirit, I have come a long way in this struggle personally. I have come to have an awareness of triggers and can avoid paths of temptation. Completely own that its on me to be faithful and pursue holiness to become more like Christ daily. I do, however, think there is a place for modesty in the way believers present themselves to the world. Would really love to get a woman’s perspective on how outer appearance honors God and how thats taught in the church. Not as a point of being a stumbling block for men but as a follower of Christ.
Hi! I’m the mother of a little girl so I’ve thought about this a lot. I was also raised by parents and in an evangelical church that didn’t really buy into purity culture (at least while I was in the vulnerable age range) so I think I got a reasonable perspective that I’ve been able to build on over the years.
Two big things:
1) the nt “clobber passages” that encourage women to dress “modestly” are forbidding ostentatious displays of wealth, not sexually provocative dress. People were trying to stand out to show off their status and the nt writers weren’t ok with it. We can all learn from that.
2) context context context. Show some skin running around at the beach with my kids? Fine and normal. Show some skin at work in a hospital? Nope, nope, nope. Wearing long sleeves and an ankle length skirt summer and winter? Now maybe I’m going to stand out and that’s iffy based on (1).
Thank you CMT for your charitable response and insight. Agree context is of supreme importance. Anyone not expecting to see beachwear at the beach shouldn’t be at a beach. Hahaha
Yes, and when women (or men) dress provocatively, that is their sin. When someone lusts, that is the luster’s sin. Both are showing immaturity; to blame the sin on someone else shows astounding immaturity. Jesus never takes away our agency, so we know we are always making a choice to sin.
I’ve begun to look at people who dress inappropriately with compassion and, dare I say, pity. They are so desperate to be seen, and I would guess that they are truly hurting in some big ways. OR, they are too innocent to understand the message that the clothing choice sends to others. I’m tall, and skirts hit me higher than they do on others. As a teen, I just bought what fit me, and I didn’t understand how some people interpreted my choices. Nothing risqué, but I had to learn how to dress in a way that made me comfortable and safe while still allowing me to be fashionable and to feel pretty. However, anyone who had nasty thoughts about me – that’s on them. My innocence does not give them license to sin. And, after encountering some leering men, I quickly made the change.
Jen, I approach it this way too. Like why isn’t the response to a 14-year-old who dresses terribly inappropriately to befriend her and make sure she’s okay?
I was taught messages about modesty from a religious POV aimed at people who didn’t come from a religious background, and also given some messages about “appropriate professional attire” that were somewhat similar. Both framed it as choosing to present yourself in a certain way, looking put-together and confident but not flashy. There was also the point that different outfits could be appropriate in different settings.
I have come to see this as a practical issue, rather than a moral one. The goal should be to see everyone as a human being worthy of respect, no matter how they dress or what they look like, and to refrain from making assumptions about them. I’ve come to the conclusion that focusing on modesty as a moral issue has the opposite effect – it is all about judging people on the surface.
I knew a woman once who became a Christian from a totally non-church background. The first time she went to church, she thought she ought to be dressed in her best clothes out of respect for God. And her best was a skin-tight mini dress with a plunging neckline! No one said anything to her, and everyone treated her as a sister in the Lord. Funny thing was that in a few weeks, her outfits had toned right down without anyone saying a word.
Thinking about this in the light of the whole modesty debate, I thought – if God looks at the heart, she was probably dressed a lot more ‘modestly’ than many who go to church well covered up but full of thoughts of how good they look. Because her heart was wanting to honour God by dressing in her best when she came into His building!
Imagine how differently this might have ended if someone had felt the need to rebuke her for ‘making men lust’. I have no idea if any of the guys did lust over her, but if they did, they took responsibility for their own thoughts and didn’t try to blame her for them. And because she was longing to please God, He guided her in the right direction regarding her appearance, just the same as he will do in every other area of our lives if we are seeking to do His will.
And that’s the key. If I’m following the Lord as I should, the way I dress is going to be in keeping with my life. And if I’m not – even if I still look ok outwardly, I won’t be ‘modestly clothed’ in my heart.
My inability to achieve orgasm for the first 6 years of marriage (and inability to get even the slightest bit aroused) was caused by birth control pills. It took a year of stopping them before I really saw an improvement. I had no idea, and neither my GP who I consulted about my low libido nor anyone else had ever said anything about BCP possibly causing problems. Now Google tells me the negative nutritional effects eg on zinc and vitamin B6 levels have been well-known since the 1980s. I’ll never take them again.
I’ve had SO MANY women telling me this, but peer reviewed articles don’t say it. I wonder if they’re funded by the drug companies? I don’t know. But the actual studies are mixed; the anecdotal stuff in my comments is HUGELY that it causes a loss in libido.
I was on the pill for about 10 years to correct hormonal imbalance, and the leaflet in the package did warn that one of the side effects might be a loss of libido, based on the reports of those using it (over here, we have a system where anyone can report a symptom they feel was a side effect of a medical treatment they were on – it’s not a scientific study, but will usually be included in the paperwork along the lines of ‘more than 1 in 10 reported…’ or ‘fewer than 1 in 100 reported…’ )
I was single when I was taking it, so have no idea of how it might have affected my libido, but I suspect it would have had an impact, since I found all my emotions & feelings were ‘dampened down’ while I was on it. Based on how it impacted me, I would only consider taking it for medical reasons, not birth control. But for some medical conditions, it can be life-changing.
I’d like to see greater awareness in Christian circles of the way the pill can be used for more than birth control. As a single, celibate female on the pill, I was hurt countless times by hearing people say ‘the only reason a single girl is on the pill is because she wants to live an immoral life’.
YES! Members of my family (and myself at certain times) had to be on the pill for other issues, too.
It makes sense to me that libido would be suppressed by BCP. The purpose of the pill is to suppress ovulation and an increase in libido often accompanies ovulation (That really tests self control when using the Billings Method!) therefore no ovulation, no surge in libido.
I read a book–secular– probably 20 years ago about why women don’t have libido. One of the things it addressed was medications, including the pill. That was the first I heard of it. The book also addressed the quality of the relationship. I didn’t let myself think too much about that one back then.
The research is probably mixed because medications, especially hormonal ones, don’t affect everyone the same way. And many women who starting taking The Pill start it very soon after becoming sexually active. So they don’t KNOW if it is affecting their libido or not. And libido isn’t a straight line across a group of women, so comparing a control group using condoms to a group taking The Pill, how to compare libidos? I think it’s just a very hard thing to accurately assess. Bottom line, everyone should know this is POSSIBLE even if it’s not the most common reaction. Even if it only happens to 1% of Pill users, those 1% matter and should know that a different contraception could improve their quality of life.
Ricki Lake just released her new documentary on The Pill called The Business of Birth Control. Obviously addressed from a secular perspective, but doesn’t negate the medical consequences of it. Worth a watch.
I’m envisioning a “Strike at Putney” type of response to Pastor Sauve’s remarks: (1) every female goes to church in a swim suit, v-neck, miniskirt, tank top, whatever, with nursing moms nursing in the front row, or (2) every female wearing a potato sack with zero skin showing (do they need to cover faces, ears, and hands as well?). Or (3) maybe NO woman EVER goes to his church again. That should solve his lust problem. 🙄🙄🙄
But let’s suppose Pastor Sauve gets his wish: all women cover all skin at all times. Will that be the end of the prohibitions and limitations he imposes in his perfect-for-himself-only world? I’m guessing not. So let’s figure out the next target he needs eliminated to solve his problem. I guess princess seams are out. Sweaters in winter. Lightweight knit fabrics the rest of the year, since knit fabric tends to be more form fitting than woven fabrics. Skirts shorter than ankle length, to avoid showing any leg at all, unless said legs are covered with opaque tights. No, no, that won’t work, as the underlying ***shape*** would still be visible. So, no skirts higher than the ankle, and they must be worn with mid-calf boots so skin (and leg shapes) don’t show. Maybe he could design HIS OWN line of wearable potato sacks, which could be handed out on Sunday mornings to any unsuitably dressed woman. When the good pastor and other men still have their uncontrollable lust problems, I guess the only recourse is that women are not allowed out of their homes at all. After all, a man might see a woman! 😱 And be unable to do anything except lust after her! So naturally the only POSSIBLE solution is for women to adjust their behavior, not for the lusting, sinning man to, I dunno, pluck out his own eye or doing something else that burdens HIM rather than HER.
I LOVED Patrick’s point about ***other people’s*** daughters, nieces, and granddaughters. I guess it’s these same men who stop hugging their daughters once the girls hit puberty and start—horrors!—developing breasts! I mean, dads might be aware their little girls are approaching womanhood so therefore the girls are suddenly no longer worthy of basic parental care, affection, and love. 🙄🙄🙄😠😠😠
Maybe I misinterpreted his post, but it looks an awful lot like that pastor was addressing his “advice” to ALL women, not just women in the church- which is 10,000x worse! Like, on what basis does he think non-Christians are going to accept his opinion as an authority on morality?! It made me so angry! Can’t he see that kind of talk pushes people AWAY from the church?!
Elissa, guys like that don’t care.
They think they are in league with Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and John the Baptist. They think they speak for God. And if they speak for God, then they don’t have to care how people react.
If this message pushes people away, then those people are considered to be in rebellion to God. Perhaps they are even considered to be in cahoots with the devil.
This is why it is so refreshing to find out about Patrick Weave and to listen to him and Sheila interact.
Pastor Patrick, Keith, Connor and other likeminded men are much appreciated.
> > Will that be the end of the prohibitions and limitations
> > he imposes in his perfect-for-himself-only world?
> > I’m guessing not.
You’re likely correct. One of the problems with philosophies like his is “Enough is never enough”
How about #3: no woman ever darkens the door of that pastor’s church? I wonder what he would think.
Thought about the Pill: I tried it 25+ years ago and noticed an immediate change in libido. I told my (male) doctor and he said, “That’s not possible.” I felt so invalidated, broken, and unseen!! But I listened to my body and got off of it anyway.
My husband and I found other methods that worked just fine, but I didn’t like the way my doctor handled my concerns. He could have just said, “if you don’t like how you feel on it, that’s fine. Let’s talk about other options.”
Of course, 15 or so years later the research came out linking the Pill to reduced libido, so I felt belatedly vindicated. 😊
Thank you for going over the birth control options for us! I’ve personally used the Fertility Awareness Method for 5 years and it has been a great successful method for us – we have only gotten pregnant when we wanted to. Besides the birth control aspect, it’s so neat to learn about your body and how it works. Taking Charge of your Fertility is one of my favorite books ever and I recommend it to my friends and you all as well 🙂
Awesome! I do think understanding more about our body’s rhythms helps in so many different areas.
Patrick is 🔥 so enjoying getting to know him.
Good points about getting other men involved. It’s hard to navigate for a lot of reasons but appreciate Patrick’s way of summing things up in question form “are men invited? What is they have a different opinion? What if they aren’t as educated?”.
It’s a good reminder that we need to show grace for each other even when we’re hurt or frustrated.
Had another thought on the subject of modesty though…
Who generally gets more grace? The man who lusts or the woman who makes a controversial clothing choice?
Is it fair to assume that when a woman wears anything provocative, that her motive was to tempt or seduce Christian men? Are there any other reasons she might have chosen to wear what she’s wearing?
Meanwhile, if a man lusts, is it fair to assume it was totally unintentional? Total accident? If only he hadn’t been “provoked” it never would have happened? That if he had been able to avoid seeing these darned jezebel women, his thoughts would have been pure on that day?
Here’s the deal. If I walked into my house one day, totally alone, and there was a beautiful, toned, tall man asleep on my couch in the buff – he is in no danger. I’m not going to touch him. I’m not going to take a picture of him. I’m not going to stare at him. I’m not going to tell everyone. I’m going to put a blanket on him and try to figure out if he’s ok or needs help. I don’t think that shows any real virtue, just normal behavior.
Why is this so hard?
People who dress provocatively do not actually harm anyone. They make themselves vulnerable. They actually need protection and care, not rebuke and correction.
People who lust do actually harm people. They make others vulnerable. They need rebuke and correction, not protection and care.
My husband and I gave our fertility to the Lord a long time ago. Traditional birth control just didn’t work.
We now us Natural Family Planning and combine it with condoms during the days where I am most fertile.
We feel that it’s perfectly balanced because we both are involved in the process and the work doesn’t all fall solely on me.
I personally never could find a pill that worked for me. My doctor recommended an IUD and I LOVED it! I was undergoing treatment for a chronic disease that I couldn’t get pregnant while doing so the IUD made the most sense. My doctor gave me not a single downside or risk. All she told me was how great it was. Fast forward I become lactose intolerant – I thought the chronic illness/treatment was causing it. My husband and I decide to start our family and I get the IUD taken out and what do you?! I can eat dairy again! Honestly I learned that digestive tract issues could be a side effect of the IUD from TikTok. After this I think I decided hormonal birth control is not for me. I just warn anybody now to really ask questions and so do your own research on the side effects your BC could cause.
Oh I remember the birth control post from a few years ago. my vasectomy story is in the link to that birth control post It’s hilarious! – Also I picked up on the word movement that Patrick kept using – As of late when I talk to people about the blog I don’t necessarily give them the site I just tell them that I’m part of a movement – if I did social media I might start a Twitter movement @weR1.
– the story is in the comments in the link….
One of the advantages of Natural Family Planning is that one learns early on to deal with (short) periods of abstinence so that later when pregnancy/illness/life happens, it’s okay.
We are really happing combining FAM with condoms. There are many benefits to FAM involving learning about your own body and knowing immediately when something is off. Stress or illness can delay ovulation by as much as 7-10 days which will automatically delay your period by the same amount. If that happens to me, I am not freaking out and buying pregnancy tests when my period seems to be late. I know that I ovulated late and my period is right on time.
I have friends who used FAM and were able to find out they had fertility issues before they even wanted to have a baby. So they were able to research and work on their issues sooner. Many couples who don’t get pregnant right away don’t find out what the underlying issue is for 6-12 months AFTER they start trying. But if you are charting and see that you only ovulate a few times a year, then you know what to address.
Because I use FAM I was able to see that a medication I was taking was stopping me from ovulating (which wasn’t its purpose) but I was still getting my period on time. It was bizarre and my doctor was very surprised. This went on for 6 months and then I decided the med wasn’t benefitting me that much and stopped taking it. I started ovulating again.
I also want to add that if you are using NFP you don’t have to abstain from SEX during your fertile window, you only have to abstain from INTERCOURSE. :wink Or you can use a barrier method.
Regarding other hormonal options, I have a caution about the Depo Provera shot. Many women are just fine with hormonal birth control but some have very bad side effects. If you take pills, use a patch, or have a ring inserted, and you have bad side effects, it is very easy to stop taking the pills, stop applying the patches, or have the ring removed and the side effects go away quickly. With the shot, you have to wait until the hormones leave your system which takes up to 3 months. If you react badly to it, your only option is to wait.
I thought the “85% say they hated it” comment was funny.
So, as a woman with PCOS, oddly enough, I used birth control to actually GET PREGNANT! Not many people realize it’s used for that for some people. I did 4 rounds (4 months) and then started tracking ovulation and timing “baby dances” around my ovulation window. I used pee sticks for tracking ovulation because PCOS and hypothyroidism just kinda throw a wrench into natural family planning. Lol.
I was anti-pill (for myself) and as a last straw measure decided to try it. And that’s what worked.
That’s such a good reminder that everyone’s body is different! That’s why I hope we let people make their own decisions.
You said that you were going to come back to FAM but you didn’t.
I think one of the reasons many start out on a form of pill is the higher efficacy vs condoms. Even with perfect use condoms are less effective than combined hormonal methods. I’ve read in a medical text that condoms are equally effective when used by “highly motivated couples over 35”, but at 22 fertility is significantly higher. I personally wasn’t taking any chances when I got married at 23, halfway through medical school…
I enjoyed this episode; however I think that it’s incomplete. I very much appreciate that either person can be selfish or inconsiderate. I’m glad you used the term “trade-offs” in this post. I don’t think I heard it in the podcast. I wish you had further explored methods that prevent pregnancy. I’m thinking of additional options for both genders. Within vasectomy there’s sutures or cauterization, and at least two brands of clips. Are there studies of the long term health consequences for men? Are the clips non-metal so you can still get a MRI? And for women, hysterectomy. I’m sure there are trade-offs. I’m guessing that it’s very hard to develop ovarian cancer without ovaries. (I asked to have my appendix removed along with my tonsils. Of course that didn’t happen. Insurance, best practices, etc.) Anyway, thanks for all you do.
Jeff, a hysterectomy is major, major surgery and is not a form of birth control. It is very, very risky to remove the uterus and ovaries if it is not necessary. Just wanted to make that clear.