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My boyfriend swears he can’t feel anything once he puts a condom on and once it’s on, it takes him forever to ejaculate. I’ve used other birth control methods before (i.e.-pills, patch, etc.) and experienced some bad side effects from different kinds, so I’m not sure I want to start using them again. I’m REALLY against getting pregnant at this time in my life. Are there any other methods that are just as safe as condoms/typical birth control?

Guys who experience reduced sensation when using condoms might want to try different brands or types of condoms — some are thinner and more sensitive than others. Also, adding a few drops of water-based lubricant (like K-Y jelly or Astroglide) or silicone-based lubricant to the inside of the condom can increase sensation.

Female condoms are another option. Some men prefer female condoms to latex condoms because they can be less restricting to the penis, and some men experience more sensation when using female condoms. Like latex condoms, female condoms reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections as well as pregnancy. Female condoms also stay in place whether or not a guy has an erection.

Women who are looking for a non-hormonal method of prescription birth control may want to consider IUDs or prescription barrier methods like diaphragms or caps.

  • IUDS — intrauterine devices — are small T-shaped devices made of flexible plastic that are inserted into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy.
  • The diaphragm is a shallow, dome-shaped cup with a flexible rim. It fits securely in the vagina to cover the cervix.
  • FemCap is a silicone cup shaped like a sailor’s hat. It fits securely in the vagina to cover the cervix.

IUDs can be left in place for five or 12 years, depending on the type used. Diaphragms and caps are used with a spermicide cream or jelly. They block the entrance to the uterus, and the spermicide jelly or cream makes the sperm stop moving, preventing it from joining an egg. They reduce the risk of pregnancy but do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

The pill, the patch, and the ring are combined-hormone methods that contain estrogen and progestin. If the methods that gave you side effects were all combined methods, you may want to consider a progestin-only method such as progestin-only pills, the shot (Depo-Provera), or the implant (Implanon). These methods are all highly effective and may have fewer side effects than combined methods.

Tags: birth control, condoms