Millions of women rely on birth control methods like the IUD and implant to prevent pregnancy, control our periods, and bring a new sense of freedom to our sex lives. Despite the benefits of these methods, women also carry the burden in our wallets and in our bodies despite the fact that men benefit too. Don’t you think it’s time to level the playing field? Here’s why we should start asking our boyfriends to split the cost of expensive and invasive birth control methods:
- Your insurance might not cover it. When I got the IUD in 2013, I paid nothing because the Affordable Care Act mandated that employers include no-cost coverage for birth control in their health insurance plans. Recently, however, the current administration modified the law to allow an exception to the mandate based on religious or moral beliefs, therefore putting many women’s birth control coverage in serious limbo.
- Even if your insurance covers it, it could be super expensive for you. Plus, independent contractors and self-employed individuals face high expenses due to individual health insurance plans that have low premiums but high costs for services and doctors’ visits. The point is that while some women pay $0 for an IUD, others have to shell out up to $1000 for one. It’s not fair and footing the bill alone to make sure that you’re being as safe and as responsible as possible can be really sucky.
- If you’re doing it to make your sex life mutually easier, he should carry some of that burden. If you’re in a committed relationship and you’re not on birth control but your boyfriend wants you to start because it’s more convenient for him, then he should be prepared to split the cost. You’re basically putting chemicals and foreign devices into your body so that you can avoid pregnancy. What does he have to do? Nothing. It’s only fair that he help out so that you both can remain baby free.
- Some methods are extremely invasive and risky. Despite the fact that IUDs and implants are the most effective birth control methods on the market, they’re also extremely invasive and risky. In an IUD insertion procedure, for example, the doctor has to measure your cervix (it’s super painful) and then implant the device. Many women experience bleeding and cramping that lasts days or weeks. Perforation of the uterus and infection are also risks. Like I said, if you’re in a relationship with someone and you decide to get this kind of birth control, you shouldn’t have to carry the burden of avoiding pregnancy alone like this. It’s scary and it’s costly.
- It encourages his education and awareness about your body. Is it me or are people still squeamish in 2017 when it comes to a woman’s reproductive health? Yes, we menstruate once a month. No, it doesn’t feel great for everyone. Yes, we can use contraceptives to avoid pregnancy. And yes, contraceptives impact our bodies, our minds, and our lives. It’s important that men become more aware of these facts. I’d like to think if a guy has a stake in your reproductive health because he helps pay for costly birth control that both of you benefit from, he might increase his awareness at the same time.
- It proves his commitment to you. Honestly, if he splits the cost of your $1000 implant or IUD, it demonstrates that he’s not only committed to you but also to your health. Not only is that super hot, but it’s also super responsible and thoughtful.
- It’s just like paying for a subscription service, just more important. Think about it. Your boyfriend probably already spends $40 a month on various subscription services. The same way he budgets for Spotify or his gym membership, he should budget for the birth control methods that benefit both of you. It’s not a hard concept. Fire up that Venmo and send him a request.
- Men should take more responsibility to avoid pregnancy. Men should be more accountable. I feel like millennial men expect that millennial women are automatically on birth control, which we know is not exactly the case. First, as healthcare costs rise and coverage changes in our country, fewer women can afford it. Second, some women are reluctant to even choose certain methods because of the side effects or can’t take certain methods for health reasons (i.e. if you have migraines). Bottom line: men should be more involved in the process whether its just buying condoms and wearing them or, helping their partners out with the cost of birth control.
- It encourages equality in your relationship. The same principles that apply to splitting the bill at dinner apply here too. It’s all about encouraging equality in your relationship by not allowing one person to free-ride off of another person.