Scared of Getting Pregnant?

Thursday is the day to answer a reader’s relationship or sex question from Formspring so without further ado:

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years, but he doesn't want to have sex with me because of the fear of getting me pregnant. We always practice safe sex, but he still worries. How can I reassure him we will be fine?

Answer: Thanks for sharing what you’re going through in your relationship. A few other questions come to mind:

1. Has your boyfriend been this way for the past two years?
2. Has birth control ever failed your boyfriend or an ex-girlfriend of his and caused an unintended pregnancy?
3. Even though you’ve always practiced safe sex together, was there a pregnancy scare or a time when your period was late?
4. Is there something else going on here?

It’s important for couples to practice safe sex to prevent unintended pregnancies and protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections. If you’ve used birth control the entire two years, it gives me cause to pause that your boyfriend would become fearful at a later time.

If he has been consistently worried about getting pregnant throughout your relationship, would you consider using two forms of birth control? He could wear a condom, and you could use another method to be doubly protected. (There might have been a certain attorney-turned-blogger who used three methods of birth control with her first boyfriend because she so feared getting pregnant.)

I never like belittling someone else’s feelings or speculating where a person is coming from, but I feel like there’s more to the story. This level of anxiety about getting pregnant doesn’t typically present itself without a precipitating event. Did his parents have him when they were very young? Did a close friend get pregnant unexpectedly? Did you or an ex-girlfriend have a scare? Is he religious or fearful about what would happen if you did get pregnant?

I recommend talking to him about his concerns when you’re not in the bedroom and there’s no expectation of sex. Don’t assume what he’s feeling and leave your questions open-ended. Let him know that you love him and want to work through this as a couple. Offer to schedule an appointment for you both at a health clinic or gynecologist’s office to discuss birth control methods and their effectiveness. You can also ask for information about Plan B.

If this concern is a newer one for him, there might be more going on than just pregnancy fears. Has his interest in having sex with you changed over the past two years? If so, you might need to ask him why that is and confirm that you both are on the same page in your relationship.

I hope that this is just a small obstacle that you will overcome together. Please keep me posted.

Anything to add, readers? Two – or fifty – cents welcome! xoxo

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