I’m having a difficult time with the idea of asking my parents about going on birth control. Im a month away from turning 18, and am considering using oral contraceptives to treat my acne as well as to prevent pregnancy if I chose to have it with my boyfriend. How can I talk to them without making it awkward or starting a fight? 

It’s really cool that you want to start some open and honest communication about this with your parents. It can be a difficult conversation to start, but it’s definitely one worth having. Many parents can offer great advice about sex, sexual health, and contraception.

One way to avoid confrontation/awkwardness is to ask your parents lots of questions about what they think, to show them that you value their opinions on this. It might feel easier to start the conversation by asking a question rather than declaring right away that you want to go on the pill. You could start by saying something like, “I learned recently that birth control pills can treat acne. Do you know anything about that?”

If you feel intimidated or embarrassed about bringing it up, you can also try using something like a news article or a TV show as a jumping off point to start the conversation. Or you might want to start by bringing up a friend who’s decided to use birth control, and see how your parents react. Then you can start talking about how birth control could have benefits for you, and how having safer sex is important to you—even if you aren’t having it yet. Hopefully your parents will appreciate you being open with them and will be happy to help you find the birth control that’s right for you.