Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Condom Conundrum

I hate condoms.

French Letters.


Whatever you want to call them, I dislike them intensely. For years and years I used them with my Husband. The three times that we didn't, I fell pregnant. Naturally, I never let him near me without his wearing a hat. He would do what he had to do in the darkness and then disappear to the toilet to dispose of it. No wet patches, no problem. Half the time I didn't even bother to wake up.

When Ruf and I got together, he got himself tested for everything to ensure he was clean. The first visit, I was well beyond mid-cycle and had had the symptoms that told me I had ovulated almost a week ago. He hated condoms because they stop him from coming so I agreed to let him go bareback. The first few times he pulled out before he came but, eventually, I just wanted him to stay there. I was pretty sure it was safe and I wanted him to come inside me. It was glorious. I have loved it every time. Sharing that most intimate of moments and holding him safe in my arms when he was at his most vulnerable, feeling him shooting into me and then gradually spilling out.

For 18 joyous months, we played Russian Roulette with my cycle until one month I just took a chance. My periods were still pretty regular, with one or two exceptions so why I just didn't think I was fertile at my advanced age, I don't know. It was stupid and I have recounted how I paid the price for that stupidity. To have to do so again would be construed as extremely careless.

As a result, we have this horrible situation with the condoms - he finds it really hard to come when wearing them. And it is made all the worse by the fact that I have a latex allergy. Fortunately, this does not seem to affect my nether regions so we can use normal condoms. But it does affect my face and my hands very badly. This means that I cannot touch or be touched by anything that has had the latex on it - his hands, his cock... It makes for a very interesting conundrum for one who adores sucking out the last remnants of her man's come so he can fully experience the aftershocks. We have tried the non-latex Durex but these are akin to wearing a plastic bag on your dick and so their reliability in terms of staying in place is rather suspect.

So we are looking at other methods of contraception. At my age, I really don't want to have to start taking the Pill with all the consequent side effects and possible cancer risks.

The latex allergy means that a cap is also out.

The idea of an IUD fills me with horror due to the story I have recounted before of my friend who had to have hers surgically removed from her pelvic cavity six weeks after her baby was born with disabilities but also because the whole idea just makes me feel so squeamish, particularly it's insertion in the light of the nature of the procedure that I underwent recently.. However, if you have thoughts that can reassure me (by comment or by email if you are shy), I would be most grateful.

It is not fair to ask Ruf to have a vasectomy because he is still young enough to want to have children in the future if things don't work out between us.

So, I would welcome your suggestions and experiences as, at the moment, there seems to be only one viable option.

I shall be visiting the doctor tomorrow to discuss having my tubes tied.


Angela-la-la said...

Discuss, my arse! Being tied up is good, even surgically!

Gypsy said...

Having your tubes tied would get my vote. My hubby got the snip after we had the twins but if he hadn't, that would have definitely been the road I would have gone down. Who needs to be remembering to take a pill every day or have nasty little contraptions inserted where they don't belong?

Angela-la-la said...

Who needs to... have nasty little contraptions inserted

Me! But only those that come from from lovehoney :)

BenefitScroungingScum said...

You and I are worryingly alike in some ways ;)
I'm also intolerant of latex (its not truly an allergy as no anaphalaxis) but it means I can't use latex condoms. You're right, they are like a plastic bag, and they unsexy! Though, the new ones are better than before. They don't tend to fall off, but we're a similar build, and you've mentioned before you have strong pc muscles, so beware, they tend to break either on entry or sometimes while inside! (that might be to do with my hips and pelvis moving though)

It is apparently possible to get a diaphragm that doesn't contain latex, I think they may be made of silicone or something, probably like the vibrators are? I never knew but there is a difference between a diaphragm and a cap...or something. Whatever, the point being there are two different types of that particular barrier method and you can get them without latex. I quite liked the idea of the cap/dia but couldn't have one for different reasons.

Ugh to coils. And Ugh ugh ugh some more. I had one fitted, and it lasted all of 24 hours before having to be removed in A&E. Despite being fitted by a consultant in a colposcopy suite to make sure it was correctly placed it slipped and got stuck half in half out. Not fun. I was partly lucky and partly able to grit my teeth enough while they wiggled it free in A&E as they'd wanted to keep me overnight, scan me and take it out in theatre the next day. I can see that causing some difficulties explaining at home.
Having said that though, I know loads of women who rave about the mirena coil and would try to kill anyone that took it from them. I think the low dose of hormones is suitable at any age?
Even after all that, I still don't have a method of contraception I can use other than the unreliable avanti's which would be why I know too much about this! My best advice is to go and see a specialist family planning consultant, they deal with any more complex cases and would be able to sort you out the non latex cap if you wanted. If nothing else that would keep you from worrying while you were waiting to be sterilised.

Essay endeth! Hope its useful, BG x

having my cake said...

Ok, ok, Ange LMAO!

Gypsy - I must admit I agree with you

BG - That was really helpful, thank you. It gives me lots of questions and possibilities that I can throw at the doctor tomorrow.

Casdok said...

I had my tubes tied, and have neaver looked back!

TOM H said...

Hi Cake it worked a BIG thank you.
Well all I can say is whatever you both feel comfortable with. I myself hate condoms. There is nothing like "staying in" if at all possible.

having my cake said...

Casdok and tom h - welcome and thanks for your input.

Juno said...

Talk about *all* the options with your doctor.

And i personally can highly recommend an IUD. Horror stories happen in all walks of life, and i bet if you dug a little deeper into the background of your friend with the surgical removal, you'd find that she didn't get regularly checked out or something.

It's one of the oldest, best, most tried and tested methods of concentration. Before you jump headfirst into surgery, when you talk to your doc about the option of tube tying, ask his/her advice and opinion on the IUD issue.

Here endeth the lesson.

J x

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

As I said before, went through a similar situation myself last year. Thing is, I had the marina coil fitted, then got pregnant that night! (doc forgot to tell me to wait 7 days!) Apart from that, and having a misscarraige (when I was planning to abort anyway) and nearly getting sterilised, I chickened out at the last minute, cause at the moment, you may never want to have another child again, but what happened if you and your husband DID split up, you are with Ruf, and he wanted to have a child with you? I know it's just a theory but you've got to think of these things. Because if you want it reviersed, it will cost you a fortune. I'm one like BG said, would fucken kill you if you took my coil off of me. No more periods, hardly any pains. (even though I still get PMT, just dont know it cause dont know how my cycle goes!) No taking pills, no dreadful side affects (apart from the SLIM chances of the horror stories you hear. Repeat SLIM!)

Marina Coil girl.

Go for it.

Complex Girl said...

Hi Cake! Just popped in to say thanks for your thoughts on my (now defunct) blog. I'm doing fine thanks, though so worn out at the moment (bloody work, kids and weather) that I'm lurker supremo!

Anyway, just a hello to let you know I've moved, and am fine!

OG (as was)

Complex Girl said...

PS. I'm on my second coil and have never had any problems with it. It's a little uncomfortable when its fitted, and a day or so of period pains, but thats it for 5 years, so it gets my vote!

having my cake said...

Juno and Complex Girl - many thanks, but can you confirm if yours are ordinary IUDs or the merina coil with the hormones like Vi? Id read that the ordinary coils can give heavier periods which is sorted out by the hormones in the merina.

Loving Annie said...

Have you tried the micro-thin polyurethane condoms like Avanti, Cake ?

At age 49 and still menstruating, I'm facing the same dilemna as you, so, not sure which birth control to use...
I may end up with the coil (?) that you put in yourself and replace once a mnoth, but am a little concerned about the hormone/cancer/heart issues with it...

Tubes tied seems kind of drastic...

A vasectomy could be reversed...

Dazza said...

Wow, what a lot of genuinely useful responses! I have nothing to add, but I'm sure I did once see an advert for some sort of stick you could pee on to tell you if it was safe to have sex or not... might just have been my imagination though.

Best of luck, and thanks for all your comments on my Blog!


Marcelle Manhattan said...

I've just been catching up on your rehabilitation. Sounds like it's going well.

As to the condom issue, I truly sympathize. Most men I know have trouble with them, and it's risky for me to take the pill because I'm epilleptic and my medication interferes. I am only 30 so surgery seems premature. I've opted for a combination of things: condoms, pill with back-up diaphragm for fertile times ... but ultimately it's a very personal decision.

Just like all the decisions you've made recently, it had to be yours, and the decent, good people around you will support you whether it's surgery or whatever you choose.

Glad you're doing a bit better.

Marcelle Manhattan said...

Sorry- I meant it HAS to be yours. For some reason, I'm not being able to preview my comments before sending.

RAFFI said...

i choose condoms cus they're practical and reliable. plus, i like to be in charge of prophylactics. too bad about latex, there's always lamb skin. as for sensitivity, try for ultra-thin lamb skin. oc's have way too many side effects, especially for women above 35 or who smoke. good *uck :)

Anonymous Boxer said...

Gotta go with the Tubes. Good luck!

Sheppitsgal said...

I am also having a similar dilemma. I have been on the pill for 20 years now, which is a worry. Also, I get "hormonal headaches" and have been changing the type of pill on a regular basis. Doc says I am pretty much on my last option.

I have considered the Merina coil and the new injection you can have, but I am not sure if I trust them.

Sorry I don't have any useful ideas, but I am interested to know what your doc says re: tube tieing, as I haven't plucked up the courage to discuss it yet!

Fish said...

the pill is still the easyest way, without long term qonsequeces.
Dont like condoms much either, thay take some fun and intimacy out of the whole thing, but in these to be carefull

having my cake said...

Annie, Dazza, Marcelle and AB - thanks for your input, I am collating all the information now.

Raffi - Ruf is a vegan, I dont think bits of sheep are going to help here but thanks for the info as Id never heard of those.

Sheppitsgal - Welcome and thanks for your other posts. Sorry I havent got back to you before. Have had a long chat with the doc this morning and will do a post about the options tomorrow when Ive had a chance to get my thoughts in order.

Fish - Welcome and thank you. Im a bit old for the Pill and being in what I hope is a long term relationship, hopefully I can forget about the health risks of not using a proper barrier method in addition to a pregnancy preventative.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Ohh, loving Annie, what's the coil that you change yourself every month?

Sorry Cake for hijacking your comments, but as I'm out of options and now single I'm seriously in need of any useful information! BG

Sulpicia said...

Had them tied at 26 and never looked back.

Complex Girl said...

I just have the ordinary coil not the hormone one. As for periods, mine are just normal - bout 4-5 days ever 30 days. The coil doesn't make your periods heavier, as it doesnt interfere with them at all, but if you have been on the pill for years, having reduced periods due to that then they may seem heavier with a coil. Really though they are just your natural periods. I was very nervous about a coil, but for me it's just been great.

Redhead Editor said...

Have had all types of IUDs (even one off the market) and have nothing but wonderful things to say about them. So from experience and the fact I am a sex educator, I highly recommend IUDs. I hope I'm not too late in your decision making. Sure there are some people who have had bad experiences, but that is mainly fro the old Dalkon Shield of the 70s and they don't make that any more.

Two Kinds: Mirena which is good for 5 years and has progesterone. Results in NO PERIODS. I had mine for 8 years and no periods. (The last 3 years w/o the hormones still had an 89% reliability rate and no periods.) (Women who are heavy bleeders who don't even need birth control are using this.) Paraguard is a TWELVE year contraceptive and has NO hormones but contains copper. Slightly heavier periods so they don't recommend this one to women who have heavy periods to begin with. Although slightly expensive at first (perhaps not where you are), IUDs are amazingly cheap in the long run (5 yrs, 12 yrs).

Feel free to e-mail me with questions. Although slightly uncomfortable going in, not bad for women who have had babies before. Totally painless coming out. No longer are they concerned about STI transmission because of the strings.

Go with the IUD especially if you are not ready to be sterilized. Good luck.