Gransnet forums


Birth control in the 21st century!

(50 Posts)
ninny Sat 06-Apr-13 08:54:07

Surely with the contraception pill, morning after pill, abortion, birth control education in schools, every child should be a wanted child and you have a choice as to how many children you have and can afford.

JessM Sat 06-Apr-13 09:04:34

I think who you have sex with and how you have sex with them is not always (often?) a rational decision in young people. They do some very silly things because they are overcome with emotion or desire or neediness or they do not have the confidence to say "no". (just for a start)
I did the same when I was young. Did stupid things - I would not really dignify them by saying "made decisions".
Sometimes older people are a bit more rational but not always.
Humans like to think they are logical, rational beings but all the research, and most of the observational evidence, indicates that this is really not the case.
Access to contraception does help. US has only just made over the counter morning after pill freely available. They have the worst unwanted pregnancy rate in the developed world.

absent Sat 06-Apr-13 09:05:25

I agree that ideally every child should be a wanted child. However, accidents still happen. I wouldn't know about oral contraceptives now as I no longer need them but when I did, they had to be taken very regularly within certain hours every day. A tummy bug threw the whole thing out of kilter for that month. At one stage in my life I was bit concerned about taking "the pill" for such a long time and tried alternative methods. A burst condom resulted in a pregnancy which wasn't a very good idea for a variety of reasons but which I wouldn't have terminated. In fact, I miscarried anyway.

As to having the number of children you can afford, there are an awful lot of variables. I don't think I had the slightest idea how expensive raising a child would turn out to be when I first became pregnant – and I don't think I really thought about it. I took it for granted that my husband and I would continue to earn a good living and raise our child together. That wasn't how it worked out. Divorce, death, illness, accident and redundancy, among other factors, can all throw a spanner into the carefully calculated works.

Nelliemoser Sat 06-Apr-13 09:14:39

JessM Very good points there !

Ariadne Sat 06-Apr-13 09:21:52

Jess is right - the power and force of the sexual impulse defies logic and reasoning (as far as I can recall! smile)

granjura Sat 06-Apr-13 09:33:43


Bags Sat 06-Apr-13 10:00:04

How many of us actually know of an unwanted child? I ask because I don't think unwanted children are a common phenomenon in places where contraception is readily available and there aren't too many religious restrictions against using them.

gillybob Sat 06-Apr-13 10:27:06

Exactly Bags there is a huge difference between unwanted and unplanned. Many children are unplanned (my son for one) but unwanted? Never.

ninathenana Sat 06-Apr-13 10:29:37

I think we need to define "unwanted" as opposed to "unplanned"

What starts out as an unplanned baby doesn't necessarily mean you have an unwanted child.

ninathenana Sat 06-Apr-13 10:30:30

Cross posts grin

Zengran Sat 06-Apr-13 10:32:07

I think that sometimes children are used as pawns, as a means to an end. So the child is not necessarily wanted, it serves a purpose.i.e. to "keep" a man, or in some extreme cases to obtain benefits and housing.

I do say "sometimes" because I firmly believe this is not often the case.

vampirequeen Sat 06-Apr-13 11:15:10

Both my grandchildren are the results of stomach bugs. Neither were planned but both were very wanted. I asked my girls why they didn't take extra precautions at the time and both said that they just thought the odds were in their favour of not getting pregnant. Obviously not but I think this is the way a lot of young people think. Unplanned pregnancy happens to others not to them.

I have to admit that during my Jezebel period after I left my ex and discovered sex I didn't really think of any consequences to my actions and I wasn't a young person. Life and excitement just took over.

Mishap Sat 06-Apr-13 11:31:16

Sexual activity has very little to do with logic, especially in the young. There will always be unplanned pregnancies - they are just part of the human condition.

granjura Sat 06-Apr-13 12:57:52

Absent, of course accidents can still happen- but I know women of all ages who have accidents time and time and time and time again. That is not human condition, I'd say it is more animal, sorry. Mistakes can happen, but not again and again, surely?

Some women use abortion as a method of 'contraception' and just retort to health staff "I don't believe in contraception'. Others keep having children they can't look after or afford.

The idea of enforced sterilisation is almost unbearable to think about. With my teaching colleague who was here visiting last week, we discussed this. Two of our ex-students have both had 8 children - each and every one taken into care as they were totally incapable of looking after them. And even now in the 40s, are planning to have some more.

Mishap Sat 06-Apr-13 13:04:14

Animal is the word granjura! That's what we are.

Ceesnan Sat 06-Apr-13 13:11:58

granjura in the case of your students I would think that enforced sterilisation should be the solution, and that is not something I would normally condone.

granjura Sat 06-Apr-13 13:22:35

Going to our GP aged 15, a friend of the family with the receptionist being a friend of my mother's, was terrifying of course. But I knew that he I was old enough to have sex, I was old enough to take responsibility. The GP was great - he congratulated me for my 'courage' and said he's much rather see me now than when too late - as for a few of my school friends. He gave me the Pill, told the receptionist to bill for a sore throat, and promised not to tell my parents. That was in 1966.

granjura Sat 06-Apr-13 13:35:18

The UK has by far the best sex education programme, starting with relationships, and as the years go by, going into incredible detail- not a single youngster can claim not to be absolutely au fait with what's what, and every kind on contraceptive method and its failures, very clearly explained.

The reason why so many UK youngsters get pregnant nowadays in much higher numbers than in other European countries has nothing do to with poor sex ed, I can assure you. A lot more study should go into the psychological, emotional and other factors which influence this.

numberplease Sat 06-Apr-13 18:34:31

All five of our kids were unplanned, the first definitely being an accident, as we weren`t married then, but unwanted? Definitely not. When I was nearly 3 months pregnant with my 4th, I had a threatened miscarriage, was taken to hospital, where I was asked by a doctor if I wanted the baby, I got the feeling that they would have terminated if I`d said no. As we weren`t very good (obviously!) at planning things, I decided to be sterilised after number 5, but had to bypass my doctor, because, although he was a lovely man, and a brilliant doctor, he didn`t believe in birth control.

granjura Sat 06-Apr-13 18:39:38

You don't say when that was? But now things are very different, surely.

Galen Sat 06-Apr-13 18:49:04

I became pregnant 2 years after having been sterilised. It turned out to be an undiagnosed ectopic which ruptured spectacularly at 12 weeks.

granjura Sat 06-Apr-13 19:00:36

That must have been such a shock Galen, and very difficult. Yes, accidents and mistakes do happen. I was just lucky I guess. But what I do not understand is how some women have accidents and mistakes again and again, and again some more. That is beyond me- and I am not being smug. I'd say it is some sort of cry for help - hence my comment about much more research being done on why- and why this is so much more prominent in the UK than anywhere else in Europe. ONE of the many factors maybe because they know that they will be looked after, whereas elsewhere they know that they won't (which does make the UK a much better place, but as said, a victim of its own success in many ways).

Smoluski Sat 06-Apr-13 19:21:16

I was sterilised after the birth of my third child as all my pregnancies where difficult,I had an Elective c section this was done during the tidying up.....I wish I could have fallen pregnant accidentally ....I wasn't prepared for the aftermath of loss and grief that followed ...I wanted a big family but due to difficult pregnancies was advised not to continue sad

Bags Sat 06-Apr-13 19:26:02

Apparently the UN thinks that global population will fall over this century because, generally speaking, contraception is working and fertility rates are falling. That sounds like success to me.

My sympathies to those of you who have told sad stories about losing or not being able to have much wanted children. I know how that feels too.

Eloethan Sat 06-Apr-13 19:39:27

Ceesnan Are you actually proposing that women be forcibly sterilised?