Have you spoken to your parents about contraception? It may be a topic you find too embarrassing or intimidating to discuss with them, but you should consider it as an option. Your parents are in an excellent position to offer advice and answer your questions, as they know you so well.

Don’t let fear about their reaction keep you from bringing up the topic of sex and/or contraception in conversation.

You may not be having sex yet, or even thinking about having it, but being fully prepared for once you do can help to reduce your chance of unplanned pregnancies or STIs.

Remember this – your parents are only human – while they may be caught off guard with the topic of conversation, it is also possible that they may know a lot more about the area of contraception than you realise.

If you feel your parents aren’t the right people to talk to, why not talk to a friend or visit your local clinic.

Did you know? Children, or teens, whose parents talk openly about sex usually start having sex at a later stage, and are more likely to use contraception.

Top tips for speaking with your parents

Be honest – You may not want your parents to know that you are having sex, and in fact you might not be, but be prepared for them to ask probing questions when you raise the topic of contraception. Honest and open communication can help to give everyone a clearer peace of mind.

Be primed – We have all experienced mind blanks when we have been nervous. Try to ensure this doesn’t happen by thinking through the questions you would like to ask your parents. By planning what to say ahead of time, it means you are less likely to forget any important points.

Be fair – It is not the best idea to raise the topic of contraception with your parents when they are very busy, or are preoccupied so can’t devote their full attention to you. Choose a time when there will be no distractions and you are both relaxed. You may also find it helpful to ask your parents if they are happy to talk to you about sex and/or contraception, before you bring up any other questions.

Be practical – Do your homework. It is important that you are somewhat familiar with the topic of contraception before discussing it with your parents, as it shows you are responsible and serious about the topic. There are around 12 different methods to choose from, so there's a good chance that you will find one which is right for you and your lifestyle.

If you are still feeling unsure or unwilling to discuss it with your parents, why not set up an appointment with your GP or nurse?

The information on this website is educational only and is not intended to be used for any self-diagnosis purposes nor to replace the advice of your doctor or healthcare professional. Please consult your doctor or healthcare professional for further information on your contraceptive options. This website is intended for use by residents of the Republic of Ireland only. This website is developed and maintained by MSD Ireland (Human Health). See www.msd.ie for more information.

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Registered Address: MSD Ireland (Human Health), Red Oak North, South County Business Park, Leopardstown Dublin 18. 
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All people depicted on this site are models and are used for illustrative purposes only.

Job code WOMN-1178118-0000 Date of preparation: July 2016