Just to be up front, if you are of the mind it is sin to engage in any sex act that could not potentially end in conception, you and I will not come to any agreement on this issue. I am convinced it is not only acceptable, but also sometimes right to avoid having children. Properly raising children costs a lot more today than it did in the past, and the number of children living in poverty is growing. I think determining if you have a reasonable chance of properly providing for children is a necessary process when it is rather easy to significantly reduce the odds of having them. I know some will disagree strongly – I will address those in the comments as they come up.
The primary reason for this post is it was requested. One of you wanted a place to discuss various options with other men. I think it’s a brilliant idea. So hit the comments and share your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and questions.
I have done a great deal of research on contraception. You can read my conclusions on The Marriage Bed Birth Control article. The last major revision of the article was June 2010, with several minor update since – most recently September 2013.
The high points:
- Some hormonal methods kill fertilised eggs, some do not.
- The pill messes with a woman’s sex drive long term – maybe for life. Other hormonal methods almost certainly do the same, research is on-going. (See The pill ruins sex? – also on TMB)
- The jury is still out on IUDs containing copper. It may be they kill all sperm, but I’ve not yet found evidence I would bet on.
- Condoms work fairly well, if used right.
- Spermicides are a fairly good choice, if having a child is an acceptable possibility.
- One option is Fertility Awareness Method – knowing when she is fertile and using a barrier or having sex other than intercourse during that time.
- Sterilization is getting easier and less expensive, if you are sure you are done having children.
If you care, our personal journey of birth control is as follows:
- The pill for less than a year (before we knew better)
- Fertility Awareness Method with spermicides and condoms during fertile times
As to the last, we are both glad I did it, and wish I’d done it sooner (a lack of insurance meant we had to save up for it). I was down 48 hours than back at landscape and irrigation work. I had very mild pain on one side on rare occasions the first two winters, nothing since.