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Readers Respond: Advice on How to Talk to a Doctor About Birth Control

Responses: 6

By

Updated January 22, 2011

From the article: What to Ask the Doctor

Let’s face it, many of us find it difficult to talk to a doctor about birth control. Many people find it embarrassing to discuss birth control options and sexual practices with a doctor, but it’s important to your sexual health to have this conversation. What kinds of experiences have you had talking with doctors about birth control? Please share your suggestions for others on how to get the most out of their doctor visit. For those of you who are wondering how to talk to a doctor about such a personal subject, hopefully some of these suggestions will help you start this conversation.

(This is a forum to express helpful tips and advice on how to talk to a doctor about birth control, complaints will only be published if they are written in a way that can be useful for others to read... Thank You.)

Tell the Truth

Since I was getting older and am a smoker, it was important that I find a reliable contraceptive that I could safely use. I was just very honest with my doctor. I was honest about how much I smoke, my concerns about my smoking/age and using a hormonal method and the importance of using something effective. My doc suggested having my tubes tied (due to my age), but I was honest and let him know I didn't feel ready for something that permanent. Often much discussion, we decided on the ParaGard IUD... good for 10 yrs and no hormones. I am very satified, but it took some real conversation and truth telling with my doctor to arrive at this option.
—Guest CTE

Don't Let Doctors Push Pills on You

The best advice that I can give is do your own research before even seeing the doctor. Then when you're speaking with your doctor, be truthful and explain to them your concerns regarding any and all birth control options (hormonal and non-hormonal). Finally, if you're currently using a hormonal method and you're not feeling well or like yourself, tell your doctor. If your doctor dismisses what you're saying, stay firm or get a new doctor. It seems like many doctors are quick to push another pill/shot/ring/implant/etc on women instead of taking them off synthetic hormones all together and see if they feel any better.
—AlyssTG

Don't Be Shy!

Be bold enough to ask your queries. Don't hesitate to ask anything in the beginning - you cannot be shy!
—Guest pregnancy quiz

Didn't Have All My Options Offered

I've been really astounded by how most doctors seem to push 1 or 2 birth control options and everything else is just glossed over or ignored. I've been using a natural method called CycleBeads and when I tried to talk to my doctor about it she glazed over. She didn't want to talk about natural family planning at all! Over the years I've pretty much stopped talking to my doc about contraception knowing that they'll just try to promote the latest pill - which I'm definitely not a good candidate for - I've had really bad side effects before and hate taking meds in general if I can help it. Unfortunately I'm in an HMO and don't really have the ability to switch doctors very easily so I'm on my own in that dept.
—Guest Melanie

Be Prepared

To be honest, I found this whole “talk” to be frustrating! I felt like I had to ask my doctor about the options I was interested in. First, I asked about NuvaRing. Only after I did, my doctor took out a sample of it and showed it to me. It seemed too hard to insert, so then my doc suggested that I stay on the pill since it has been working great for me. I remember reading one of Dawn Stacey’s articles about Seasonique and how you only have 4 periods with it (awesome!!). My doc NEVER even mentioned this to me. I actually came home, read some more articles about it and called my doc on the phone to see if I can switch to Seasonique. He agreed and called in a Rx for me. So far, so great… but it was somewhat unsettling to know that I had to do my own research and bring things up. My advice – be prepared!!!
—Guest Mandi

Be Yourself

My best advice about how to talk to a doctor about birth control is to be brave and to know that the conversation will not go on forever! I was so nervous talking to my doctor because this was my first sexual partner and I didn’t want to feel as if I was being judged (I am 18). I spoke to the doctor at my college’s health clinic. She was great and understanding. Although it was embarrassing, I told her about my situation (how often I was having sex, how many partners, etc.). We talked about my options. I asked a whole bunch of questions. When I look back, it wasn’t as bad as it seemed! I think the best thing is just to be yourself and be honest.
—Guest Zoey

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