Are you so ready to learn and use the sympto-thermal method, but aren’t quite sure how your partner will react? Or have you brought up the idea and they are not so keen?
I don’t advocate forcing anyone into a situation they don’t want to be in, but education can be key to making an unsure partner jump on board. So, if you want the support of your partner (Hint: you will), keep reading. It’s important to address their concerns, validate them, and talk about any inhibitions fully. Here are some tips:
First things first, be sure of yourself.
Projecting your own fears onto other people, I sure do it. I’m willing to bet that you do, too. So, if we have doubts, we may be asking for our partners (or parents, or anyone!) to verbalize these and convince us otherwise.
You need to first confront any worries, research them, and KNOW what you want before you try to convince anyone else that this is what you want to do. This site is an awesome resources for that.
Being more assured in your position, as well as being armed with this information, will help alleviate any fears of your partner.
If you have any specific questions that you can’t find the answers to, feel free to contact me. I like to make sure that everyone learning the sympto-thermal method wants to be there and the method is a good fit for them.
Your partner may say…
“How does this work, exactly?”
Basically, you check at least two things every day: your temperature and your cervical fluid. The cervical fluid tells you when you are approaching ovulation and is needed for sperm transport and survival, and your temperature tells you when ovulation has passed by a detectable shift up.
With this information you can apply a few rules and reliably know when you are actually fertile. It’s effective for regular or irregular cycles.
“I don’t think I would trust that to be effective enough. I really don’t want kids right now.”
One of the things you may worry about when considering the sympto-thermal method is whether it can truly be effective. The answer is that it can.
You can show them this paper, as well as talk to them about how you can learn to make it even more effective by being a bit more conservative (which is excellent to talk to your fertility awareness educator about if you do want to be more conservative).
One of the things that I like to allude to is how much CONTROL you have using this method. Rather than putting your trust in an outsider that you don’t even know, you learn what your own body is telling you and you can choose exactly how you will use that information.
“But.. But… Abstinence?”
Yep, your partner (or you!) may be freaked out by having to abstain, use an alternate method, or use a form of sex without genital contact during the fertile phase.
This might be a good time to talk about other types of sexy things you are your partner want to do or try, rather than feeling like you have to rely on intercourse all of the time. If that isn’t the issue, there are always barriers. When you only have to use a barrier method during your fertile time a few things happen:
- You generally don’t mind it as much, since you know that it’s only temporary.
- You generally use it more accurately and reliably. When you absolutely know that you are at the time in your cycle that you are likely to get pregnant from intercourse you tend to join the ranks of the “perfect users” of the method and have great effectiveness.
Generally, your fertile period is about 9 days a month. This does vary from women to women, but that average ain’t bad considering for the rest of the month you get to have awesomely unprotected intercourse.
“I like the pill (/IUD, etc.), it’s easy and reliable and I don’t have to think about it!”
If this one comes up you just have to talk to your partner about your reasons for wanting to switch methods.
What aren’t you liking about your current method? What are your fears? Do you feel too much a burden being the one responsible for birth control?
If your partner is already the one responsible for birth control (e.g. you use condoms or withdrawal), you can always tell them that you would love to learn the method, but they can continue to use their method if that is what they are comfortable with. They may end up coming around as they understand the method better and experience it.
“This seems a little pricey.”
You may want to remind them that the amount that you pay monthly or yearly adds up quickly. Since this is something you learn and have as an amazing life skill for the rest of your reproductive years, the costs end up being negligible.
“It sounds like it’s going to be a lot of work and time.”
Let them know that it’s time that you are excited to devote to this. Once you take the introductory class, practice, and get your follow-up, it’s only a couple of minutes a day that is necessary. You pretty much do it on autopilot.
That couple minutes may add tremendous value to your life if you are interested in the extra benefits of charting your cycles.
So, though it can be an initial time investment, when you’ve got it, you’ve got it. It’s second nature, and like I said above, it’s a skill that you can use for life.
It’s also a good idea to let them know what they might gain from the experience.
How excited are you about a change when you think everything is going great currently? Generally not very excited. It’s going to be the same for them.
Let them know how you think it will benefit not only you, but them too.
For example, you may find that using fertility awareness you have a better sex drive than when taking hormonal contraceptives. Good for you both, right?
Or, you may be feeling that your moods are unstable with hormones, you have incessant headaches, condoms and lube are giving you yeast infections, you’re miserable on your period due to cramps and heavy bleeding from an IUD, or a experiencing a multitude of other maladies.
Whatever it may be for you, I am sure that there are things that your partner will take away from having you practice fertility awareness.
Does your partner still need more information?
Feel free to contact me and I will answer any questions you have.