By NATALIA HAWK
Just off the top of my head, I can name at least three acquaintances that have admitted to just not bothering with contraception. No pill, no condoms, no IUD, no injection, no implant.
If anything, they’ll use the pull-out method, but even that doesn’t always happen – and when it does happen, it’s still a form of unprotected sex.
And the other day, the top of contraception came up in the Mamamia office – and we worked out that every single one of us knows at least a couple of people who admit to just never really using any kind of contraception.
Which, to me, is just baffling.
I mean – not baffling if you would like to be impregnated. But if that’s not what you’re after, why wouldn’t you use contraception? In Australia, it’s very accessible, not particularly expensive and there is a lot of information out there about relevant effectiveness and suitability. I could probably still recite sections of the sex ed textbook we had to read every year in high school.
And even moving away from pregnancy, there’s still the issue of STIs – even the pull-out method won’t protect you from those.
So why this lack of contraception use? Is it just plain carelessness? That idea of putting something in the too-hard basket because you can’t comprehend that something bad or inconvenient will ever happen to you? The same notion that comes with people continuing to sunbake or smoke cigarettes even though we’re entirely aware of the risks?
Could it be related to a fear of contraception? There are plenty of stories floating around about the risks associated with the pill – true or not, the rumours are still there. I’ve had plenty of girlfriends tell me about the mental health issues they’ve experienced as a side-effect of the pill. I can imagine how someone who’d had a bad reaction to a particular type of contraception would be hesitant to use it again.
Or is our sex education in Australia somehow lacking? Maybe we need a revamp? Something to emphasise that the PULL-OUT METHOD IS NOT ENOUGH?
If anything, this worrying trend is even more common in the United States. Acccording to a new study, two out of five women in the US don’t use contraception, even though they are not currently planning a family.
The survey was conducted by Contraception in America and found that many women “underestimate their risk for pregnancy” – Science Daily suggested that “women may not fully understand their options or how certain contraception methods work”.