Dear Body Party,
I want to get on hormonal birth control, but I am still on my family’s insurance and my mom is not exactly sex positive (or even sex present). How can I bring it up to her? What can I say to make her understand that being on birth control is important to me and not some immoral travesty?
Dear Planned Not Parenthood,
Birth control is incredibly important in having safe, carefree sex but it sure can be tricky and exhausting, especially if you’re still technically under the medical watch of your parents. In general, it is best to keep things long range—focus on how you want to get on birth control now so that you can have safe sex in the future.
Parents tend to get scared when they realize their kids are growing up and out of their control and watchful eye, and the added social issues and stigmas that surround sex tend to intensify those feelings. As a rule you should never have to justify yourself and your sexuality, but let’s be honest—family is often the exception to even the best rules. While there is really no better justification for birth control than you wanting to be in control of your own body, in this situation it may be best to have a collection of reasons why you want to be on birth control and, if your mom is a sex avoidant as you say, you may want to stay away from the topic of sex as much as possible. You know your mother better than I— if discussing your current sexual activity seems likely to cause problems, you can tell her you have bad periods or want to prepare for possible sexual activity in the future.
Looking at a more long term option like an IUD (in particular the copper IUD, which lasts 13 years) can help frame birth control as a long term health decision as opposed to a casual sex-based choice. And primary care doctor should be able to talk you through your options during your standard check up without billing it separately.
No matter what, you should make it clear that you have thought it through, analyzed your options, done your research, you know the pros and cons, and that it is your body and that at the end of the day you are simply looking for her support in your decision. At the end of the day most parents just want what is best for their kids, and your bodily autonomy is absolutely what is best for you!
Stay Safe & Have Fun,
Body Party is a positive, open-minded column about everything bodies, sex, relationships, and self love. This column is not written by a doctor but done by a person who has researched the topic and looked into your questions thoroughly. If you have any questions or problems and want advice about sex, medication, love, STD’s ect. please submit them to email@example.com