These 4 Tips Will Make the Task of Asking Your Parents About Birth Control Much Easier

These 4 Tips Will Make the Task of Asking Your Parents About Birth Control Much Easier

Asking your parents for birth control can be hard, flat-out awkward, and embarrassing—but that doesn’t mean you should put off the conversation. The tricky part of this situation is feeling personally and sexually mature enough to need a contraceptive, yet the act of needing “permission” knocks your internal adult back to elementary school.

In addition to considering how you feel, you should also know your parents aren’t waiting for this day with excitement. In fact, I scoured several public forums to get some insight on both perspectives and saw that parents who take to family forums—particularly mothers—are caught in a dilemma of their own: wanting to help their daughters prevent teenage pregnancy and seemingly promoting teenage sex.

So with both parties feeling and thinking all these things, how does a conversation ever get started?

Ultimately, it’s up to you to take the approach that best suits your personal situation and relationship with the ‘rents. However, here are a few tactics to consider before you lay it on them.


1. Start With a Question

Your parents are on your team, so if you come to them with a query they’re likely going to give you the best answer they can. If you’re particularly close, you may ask your mom when she started taking birth control to encourage a two-way conversation.

If that feels too direct, or you’re asking your father, you could reframe your question to something like “When should I ask our family doctor about an oral contraceptive?” or “Can you tell me about which female health services are covered by our insurance?” The options are almost endless, but the idea is getting your parent(s) to share some insight while becoming aware of your needs.


2. Look for Natural Segues

Television shows, a magazine article, or friends’ experiences can all be great leads to pursue when trying to break the ice. These opportunities are great because they allow you to start the conversation without talking about you personally. Then once the tone has been set, it will be much easier to relay your desire to start some form of contraceptives.


3. Show That You’re Mature

While reading through said forums, a common theme I saw was young women lying when parents asked about their sex lives. Your first instinct may to blurt out a solid “NO!” but try to consider how that will help you in the long run (hint: it won’t). If you’re ready to be in a sexually active relationship, you can work up the courage to be honest for a few minutes. “Yes, I have had sex and I am considering birth control. I want to be in charge of my own protection and know that I am doing what I can to prevent pregnancy.”


4. Don’t Give Up

If you’re in a different or very specific situation where you can’t ask your parents, or know that they would starkly disapprove, consult other resources. School counselors, trusted family members, or local women’s centers can be a good option (or at least point you in the right direction). You can also remind your parent or guardian that sex isn’t the only reason to take the pill, especially if you need the contraceptive for something like PMDD that affects your quality of life.


It may not be easy, but it will be worth it. Realizing that your uncomfortable 20-minute conversation will only have to happen once—and that it can protect you from an even more anxiety-inducing conversation surrounding teenage pregnancy—makes the sacrifice well worth the outcome.

Let us know how it goes, you never know if your story will help someone else in the same position. Good luck!

Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.