Discover Intimacy and Enjoy Closeness with Your Loved One - Stork Advisor
Postpartum Health

Discover Intimacy and Enjoy Closeness with Your Loved One

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Do you ever think about how birth control affects not only your health but also your relationship with your partner?

Intimacy with our life partner is how we connect. Love is expressed in many ways. The majority of people think about love life as the sexual activity between a man and a woman. Love is so much more. It is the look, the smile, the touch that couples share. It includes moments shared and memories created. It is fortified by survival through tough times.

This first part will show you how taking care of your sexual health improves your love life and emotional connection with your partner. You’ll learn about achieving a deep bond while staying safe and in control of your fertility.

Key Takeaways

  • Intimacy positively affects our emotions and health.
  • Your physical health is important for your partner and you.
  • Birth control is optional based upon your season of life, present goals and future vision.
  • Good communication deepens your bond with your partner.

Keep reading to understand intimacy and learn how good communication can make your relationship safer and stronger.

Understanding Intimacy and Its Importance

Intimacy is key for building strong relationships. It includes various aspects that can improve how happy and connected you feel with your partner. We will talk about these parts to see why they matter so much.

The Role of Emotional Connection

Emotional intimacy is vital in any relationship. It’s about trust, understanding, and sharing deeply. Talking about your thoughts and feelings strengthens your emotional bond. This connection helps relationships last through tough times.

Physical Closeness: Beyond the Act

Being physically close is only a part of being intimate with your partner. It’s about actions like holding hands and cuddling. The little things matter as bringing a cup of coffee, helping around the house or with the kids, surprising your partner with acts of appreciation. These gestures of love make the emotional bond stronger. Making physical affection part of your daily life improves your relationship a lot.

The Basics of Birth Control

Contraception may be important based upon the current life status for the couple. Pregnancy could be desired at another time. Maybe details about birth control are helpful to make a good decision for your family. Each method varies in features, success, and things to keep in mind.

What is Birth Control?

Birth control usually means preventing conception. Various methods are available. The choice depends upon health status and goals. Each choice has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Historical Overview of Birth Control

Barrier methods as condoms have been around for decades. Pregnancy rate with barrier methods is greater because sperm are microscopic and still may go beyond the barrier to reach the woman’s egg. Modern methods of birth control started in the 1960s with hormonal contraception. The hormonal formulation of oral contraceptives has improved with lower doses and different hormonal options. The variety allows healthcare providers to specifically consider the needs of the woman and select the best option for her. Improvements in formulation and lower doses makes the oral contraceptives easier and safer to use.

Contraceptive Methods: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the right contraception is a part of family planning and sexual health. This Stork Advisor® guide is for your information. Many of these choices require the input and assistance of your healthcare provider. Health status, physical limitations, and insurance support are just a few factors that may also contribute to the choice.

Basic Physiology of Conception

Contraception actually means “without conception.” Let us review how conception occurs. At approximately the mid cycle of the month, a woman of reproductive age may ovulate. A follicle produces an ovulatory cyst which releases an egg. The egg can live for about 24 hours. The egg may be captured by the end of the Fallopian tube (fimbria).

Intercourse may have occurred around the same time of ovulation. Millions of sperm are typically released by the man. The sperm move from the vagina, through the cervix and uterus and finally into the Fallopian tube. Normally, a single sperm penetrates the surface of the egg for fertilization. If there is no fertilization, the egg and sperm die. With fertilization, the fertilized egg moves into the uterus and implants into the uterine surface.

Barrier Methods

Barrier methods stop sperm from reaching the egg. You can use male and female condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps are examples of such methods. These devices are the only means to prevent sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STD’s or STI’s).

Hormonal Methods

Hormonal contraceptives prevent ovulation by changing natural hormone levels. No ovulation means no egg release. Hormonal therapy as birth control pills, patches, vaginal rings, and injections are examples. They work well and are easy to use. There are other benefits as they can make a woman’s menstrual cycle more predictable with less bleeding and pain. These methods include products with estrogen and progesterone or just progesterone.

Many women choose birth control pills. Combination oral contraceptives include a form of estrogen and a form of progesterone which mimics the hormones that the ovaries naturally produce until menopause. There are progesterone only pills, too (“minipill”). These pills work well and are simple to use. Be informed that they may be called birth control pills, but there are numerous versions of the pill that vary in the amount and type of hormone in them. If you have unpleasant side effects with a brand, there could be a better formulation available for you. Your healthcare provider would be a great resource for these questions.

There is a hormonal contraceptive in the form of a vaginal ring. The brand name is NuvaRing. It is a combination hormonal device that is ring-shaped and a little bigger than a quarter. It is placed in the vagina for three weeks, then removed in the fourth week to have a menstrual cycle.

Birth control patches are another form of combination hormonal contraceptive. A brand name is Xulane. They adhere to your skin and need to be changed weekly. No patch is used in the fourth week to have a menstrual cycle.

Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives

Long-acting reversible contraception is also known by the acronym LARC. These devices are for women. Intrauterine devices (IUD’s) and subdermal implants last a long time and protect against pregnancy. They allow you to get pregnant soon after they’re removed. Many women like them for being very effective. They don’t have to think about taking a pill or “doing” anything. A LARC device must be placed by an experienced healthcare provider. They all have expiration dates.

Most of these devices contain a form of progesterone. In the case of the progestin IUD’s, the cervical mucus becomes thick to serve a barrier to block the sperm from reaching inside the uterus. Next, the device impedes the sperm from reaching the Fallopian tubes. The subdermal progestin implants also thicken cervical mucus and additionally prevent ovulation.

Copper IUD’s are hormone-free. These devices work by the copper creating a reaction within the uterus to build up the endometrial lining. This extra tissue serves as a barrier to prevent the sperm from reaching the Fallopian tubes for conception. There is no change in the woman’s hormonal status. That also means that she is able to ovulate. The copper IUD’s are good for 10 years.

MethodDurationEffectivenessConsiderations
Condoms/barrier Single Use85% – 98%
Also protects against STIs
Birth Control Pills,Contraceptive patch or ringDaily91% – 99%Requires user action
LARC3-10 Years99%
Professional insertion needed

Complications with IUD’s include strings that are not visible after placement, pregnancy while in place, falling out of the uterus, migration out of a central position when the device could be embedded into the muscle surface of the uterus. Rarely, uterine perforation may happen with placement or spontaneously over time.

The subdermal implant complications are not many. Placement may cause bleeding or nerve pain, especially if it is placed deeper than recommended. The implant can be scarred in place and difficult to remove.

The devices provide no pregnancy protection after the expiration date.

The Relationship Between Intimacy and Birth Control

Intimacy and birth control are sometimes linked.  Good communication between couples builds trust and understanding.  Couples can enjoy closeness freely which makes relationships more authentic and trusting. 

Communication and Trust

Talking openly about family planning is a means to dream about your future together.  “What will our family look like someday?”  Such communication also builds trust and hope.  There is power in agreement, so sharing preferences and concerns helps partners choose what’s best together. This makes both the man and woman feel respected and important.  

Family Planning: What You Need to Know

Deciding to have children is a big step. It needs both of you to talk with each other and think a lot. By planning, you can make smart choices for your future so that you are ready to be parents.

Setting Goals as a Couple

It’s key to set goals for your relationship. Start by talking about what you both want in the long run.  What is your vision for your future together?  Make a list of things you want to achieve together. This could be about money, job success, or personal and spiritual growth. It’s important to be on the same page and help each other reach these goals.

Choosing the Right Time

Deciding when to have kids is important. Think about if you’re emotionally ready.  Is your relationship strong?  Are there any circumstances in your lives that would challenge parenting at this time?  Look at your jobs and where you live. Hopefully, your employment is secure and you are satisfied with your location.  Being ready will provide you more confidence for this lifelong commitment.

Talking about having a family is a positive and ongoing discussion. In life, we often have to change and update plans.  Life has many surprises.  Sometimes, the change in plans are helpful as the couple grows and experiences life together.  Good planning and agreement can help you have a happy and balanced family with a strong bond.

Physical and Mental Health: Keeping Safety in Focus

It’s important to maintain your physical and mental health. This maintenance involves your actions and talks to stay safe and well. Emphasis on your physical and mental health needs is realistic in this changing and stress-filled world.  You can make better choices for each other by this recognition.  

Regular Check-Ups and Screenings

Keeping up with physical exams is important for everyone. We all want to get the report that our health is good. This appointment is also an opportunity to identify health problems that could impact your future. Many people recognize that a routine annual exam is beneficial. This exam allows you to talk about any concerns. Many women want screening for cervical problems with a Pap smear with HPV. Depending upon the situation, screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is possible. Early detection and treatment mean you stay healthy for years to come.

Maintaining Open Dialogue

Talking openly with your partner about health is essential.  If the relationship is new, information such as infection history, what type of contraception you use, and your health background is appropriate to share. It builds trust and deepens your connection. Plus, it’s a chance to get rid of any myths or fears you might have about health.  Hopefully, your relationship will be permanent and you will enjoy a satisfying life together.

A Healthy Relationship

A good relationship is built upon trust and experiencing life together.  Getting to know each other takes time.  Often, couples share work interests, hobbies, or cultures.  What are your likes and dislikes?  What things do you enjoy together?  Sports, eating out, entertainment and other fun activities are important to share, if possible.

Of course, we are all human and individuals.  It is normal to have differences, too!  If you find that your relationship is not progressing, consider finding activities to do together.  The choice doesn’t have to be expensive.  It could be as simple as an outdoor walk.  Pick something that is not in a stressful environment and maybe in a different location than you are used to being.  Adventure together is good!  As you go through life and tackle the typical challenges many face, you build a strong bond to each other that can last. 

If sexual intimacy is part of your relationship, talking openly about sex is key to a strong bond. Birth control discussion or family planning are practical aspects of your relationship.

Family Planning: Best Practices

Some say that timing is everything.  Understanding contraception can seem like a big task. It’s helpful to plan pregnancy when it fits best with the goals of the couple.  Knowing your birth control options and properly using them can help the couple enjoy the season that they are in at the time of their lives.  

Non-Hormonal Methods

If you don’t want hormonal birth control, there are non-hormonal steps. Condoms and diaphragms are barriers that prevent sperm from meeting an egg.  The “rhythm method” is a more natural approach with fertility awareness of ovulation timing.  This knowledge may help you know your most fertile days to avoid intercourse.  It is not a perfect means of birth control.

It’s smart to look at all the contraception choices. The best one fits your current way of life and what you prefer.

How to Discuss Birth Control with Your Partner

Talking openly about birth control with your partner is important to build a strong relationship. It’s vital to handle the topic with sensitivity by respecting and understanding each other’s views.

Approaching the Topic Respectfully

Timing and tone matter a lot when you bring up birth control. Pick a time when both of you can talk privately and in a quiet location.  Allow each other to express your feelings and goals.  For instance, you could say, “Our relationship is important to me. Let’s talk about what birth control would be best for both of us.”  Use questions that encourages discussion like “How do you feel about our current birth control?” This approach shows you’re ready to listen. It’s all about respecting what each other feels and finding ways to agree. Doing this can make your bond stronger and build trust.

The Impact of Birth Control on Relationship Dynamics

Using birth control plays a big part in keeping relationship dynamics healthy. It boosts sexual satisfaction with family planning.  Choosing birth control together improves your relationship in many ways. It shows mutual respect and trust. Decision-making as a couple makes your partnership stronger and builds trust. This trust shows that you both care about each other’s present and future which strengthens your relationship.

FAQ

What is the relationship between intimacy and birth control?

Birth control may be important for intimacy between a man and woman.  Pregnancy may not be the priority at the time in the relationship.  Maybe the couple has recently had a child, so pregnancy spacing is important for the health of the mother.  Birth control allows them to experience intimacy without the pressure of an unplanned pregnancy. 

Why is emotional intimacy important in relationships?

Emotional closeness builds trust and a strong connection. Relationships are stronger if they are based upon friendship and common ground.  It’s what makes partners truly know and understand each other before physical intimacy. This deeper connection helps make relationships better and long lasting.  

What are the different methods of contraception available?

Many methods of birth control are available.  Barrier methods as condoms and spermicidal agents are available without a prescription.  Most hormonal birth control is prescribed by a healthcare provider including birth control pills, the depot Progesterone shots, etc.  Some methods require placement by a medical professional as intrauterine devices (IUD’s), subcutaneous progesterone implants, etc. Each type offers a different level of pregnancy protection. It’s good to talk to a medical professional to find what method is best interest.

What does “safe sex” mean?

Safe sex means having sex while being protected from sexually transmitted diseases or infections (STD’s/STI’s).  There is no perfectly safe means to prevent transmission of an infection except abstinence.  Barrier methods as condoms are the next line of defense. Partner trust and open communication are critical.  

What is the importance of family planning?

Family planning helps committed couples coordinate their life goals together. It involves considering their family dreams, career plans, and deciding when to pursue pregnancy.  Discussion should include personal and family health history.

Are regular check-ups and screenings essential?

Younger people typically are focussed on careers, relationships with their significant other, family and friends.  Physical health may be overlooked.  Routine physical exams are important, even for young people who may have no complaints.  Medical screening is needed for conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.  Women should be screened for cervical cancer with a Pap smear.  Any identified health conditions might be addressed.

What are LARC’s? 

Long-acting reversible contraception is also known by the acronym LARC.  These devices are for women. Intrauterine devices (IUD’s) and subdermal implants last a long time and protect against pregnancy. They allow you to get pregnant soon after they’re removed.

When is the right time to start a family?

Deciding when to have kids is important. Many questions can only be answered by you.  Are you and your partner emotionally ready?  Is your relationship strong?  Are there any circumstances in your lives that would challenge parenting at this time? 

How do we know if we can manage being parents?  

Look at your jobs and where you live. Hopefully, your employment is secure and you are satisfied with your location.  Being ready will provide you more confidence for this lifelong commitment to your child and each other.

What happens if we change our plans to be parents now?  

Talking about having a family is a positive and ongoing discussion. In life, we often have to change and update plans.  Life has many surprises.  Sometimes, the change in plans are helpful as the couple grows and experiences life together.  Good planning and agreement can help you have a happy and balanced family with a strong bond.