An unwanted pregnancy is everyone's worst nightmare. You don't want it, she doesn't want it, and your mom probably wouldn't be too thrilled about it either. These days, there are plenty of ways to avoid getting pregnant, but for some reason it still occurs. Whether it's bad sex education or plain stupidity, you can rest assured that every day, somebody somewhere hears those dreaded words.
It's one thing if you've been with a girl for some time, you're settled, and a baby wouldn't be the worst thing to happen – but unplanned isn't the same as unwanted, and nobody wants to have a one-night stand only to be hit with life-changing news a few weeks later.
While it's worse for the girl than it is for you, it's still something you're definitely going to want to avoid, if possible. Thankfully, some of the common mistakes people make are really easy to avoid if you're aware of them. Here are some of these mistakes to help you carry on with your baby-free existence. No sweat.
10 Forgetting To Wear A Condom
Let's start with the simplest one first, because it's something you should already know. If you forget to wear a condom – or “forget” to wear a condom, because let's admit it does happen – you're running the risk of pregnancy. You might be drunk, or you might be enjoying the spontaneity of having sex without much prior planning; no matter what the reason, it's a big mistake. Start training your drunk self to think contraception, and keep condoms somewhere discreet in every room of your house if you have to. It might be fun at the time, but losing your head is just not worth it.
9 Not Having Access To The Morning-After Pill
If you've been dating the same girl for a while and you haven't discussed access to emergency contraception, you're doing it wrong. Even if you're single, find out for yourself. Plan B can be a life-saver for both you and her, but if you realize she needs it with only four hours left and you have no idea where to get it from, you're setting yourself up for panic – and a week of uncertainty if she doesn't manage to find it in time. If you already know where to go, then there won't be a scramble; it'll just be a matter of driving over there and dealing with the side effects. Trust us, it's much better that way.
8 Going By Her Cycle
Why this method of contraception persists is anybody's guess, because frankly it's a fool's game. No matter what stage of her menstrual cycle she's at, if you have sex without a condom, she can get pregnant. Sperm can survive in a woman's body for up to five days, so all you're doing by going by the calendar is reducing your risk – not eliminating it. If you wouldn't play Russian Roulette, then don't play with fertility awareness, no matter how many apps calculate a 'safe window' for you. They are lying, and you don't need to take the risk.
7 Trusting Just One Form Of Contraception
Most forms of contraception are not 100% effective – and you want to be as close to 100% effective as you can get, right? So if you use just one method of contraception, make sure you're aware of how good that one method is, and consider doubling up. For example, using a spermicide alone is not enough without also using a condom or some other barrier. The more you know.
6 Assuming You're Safe With Non-Penetrative Sex
Okay, let's clear this up once and for all. It is possible to get her pregnant without actually having penetrative sex. The risk may be low, but it's still there if you ejaculate anywhere near her vagina, or touch her with sperm-covered hands. It's frustrating, but well worth being aware of – and you know you'd rather wear a condom when you probably don't have to than maybe become a father.
5 Cancelling Your Contraception Out With Antibiotics
This is pretty terrifying, but if she's on antibiotics, it could completely cancel out your method of contraception. If she's on oral contraceptives or uses the patch or a vaginal ring, you will need to double up and use another form of contraception during the entire course of her antibiotics – just to be sure. Her doctor should have made her aware of this, but check just in case. Doctors are only human, and they may not have been aware of her contraceptive methods when the antibiotics were prescribed.
4 Leaving The Pill To Her
As a general rule, contraception should be just as much your responsibility as it is hers, no matter the method. Keep it equal and make it your business to remind her about the pill, especially if it's something she has difficulty with. Just one missed dosage could result in an unwanted pregnancy. You don't have to be rude about it; just a quick mention of it will do. Of course, if you're uncertain, you can always double up and wear a condom as well.
3 Having Sex Too Soon After Sterilization
More and more men are getting sterilized these days, and it's a great permanent option for those who are sure they don't want kids. It's a simple operation, even if the thought of a little snip in that general area may not appeal to you, and it's over very fast. However, it's not effective immediately; don't make that mistake. Your doctor will give you all the information you need, but it's estimated that you can still get a girl pregnant for several months after the operation. It's not fear-mongering, and it can happen – so listen to your doctor and don't have unprotected sex until advised it's safe.
2 Using Condoms Incorrectly
Shitty second-rate sex ed classes, we're looking at you. Whether it's because you were never taught or you never paid attention, the amount of adults who don't know how to correctly put on a condom is frankly appalling. If you're one of them, there's no excuse. Google Incognito is not just for keeping things "private" at night. Swallow your pride, get yourself onto YouTube and watch a demonstration – because putting it on wrong might mean you may as well not be wearing one at all. Oh, and for the record? Wearing condoms that are too big can cause problems too, so don't be tempted to buy the XXLs just to look impressive.
Even if you do know how to put on a condom correctly, you may not know that using some types of home lubricants will cause your condom to break. Only use lubricant specifically designed for sex, and for use with condoms.
1 Contraception Rumors
For some reason in 2016, crazy contraception rumors still spread like wildfire, so let's go through a few of them. Having her douche, sit up, bathe or do a handstand after sex will not prevent her from getting pregnant. Taking a warm bath to 'discourage the sperm' will not prevent her getting pregnant. Neither will pulling out early, especially if you forget to do that – which is unsurprisingly pretty common. Improvising a condom from household materials is stupid, and will hurt you – especially the empty chip packet. Whose bright idea was that?
Nobody loves condoms, but the truth is simple. If you want to have sex without getting her pregnant, neither of you are sterilized and you haven't looked into any alternate methods? Condoms are it. Stock up, and get used to it. Better that than diapers…