How can I talk about sex and getting birth control with my parents? I’m not in a committed relationship, but have a friend with benefits and I don’t want them to think badly of me.

Good for you for thinking about ways to prevent unintended pregnancy, and wanting to involve your parents. Talking about sex with parents sometimes feels stressful, especially telling them you’re already having sex (here are some tips for starting the conversation).  But even if they’re not thrilled with the idea of you having sex, your parents will probably be glad that you involved them in the decision to get birth control.

While we think it’s good to share as much as possible with your parents, it’s okay if you want to keep some stuff private. They may ask you if you’re having sex and who you’re having it with, and you should be honest with them if you can. It’s their job to help you stay safe and happy, which is why they want to know details about your life.  But if you really feel like you can’t tell your parents you’re having sex, you can say, “I want to go on birth control, just to be safe.” Some forms of birth control also have other benefits, like lighter periods or clearing up acne, so you can talk about those reasons as well.

If your parents get upset, tell them that you know they care about you and you trust their advice, so that’s why you came to them. You can also admit that this isn’t the easiest talk to have, and thank them for being there. You might ask one or both of them to come with you to your doctor or a Planned Parenthood health care center to learn about birth control and how to use a condom. You can also look through the Planned Parenthood website, or use our My Method app together to explore your safer sex options. Remind them that protecting yourself against STDs and pregnancy is really important, and you want their help and support.

Using birth control and condoms is mature and responsible, and so is talking with your parents about it. Hopefully they’ll agree, and have your back every step of the way.

-Kendall at Planned Parenthood