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Birth control, splitting the cost

(29 Posts)
VestalVirgin Mon 02-May-16 20:11:08

I just read a column by the awesome Bad Advisor, who tells letter writers what they actually want to hear:

Many of her answers are to letters written to Ask Amy;

I was a bit baffled, to be honest, that this woman felt the need to ask if it was okay to ask to split the cost for the pill as opposed to paying for it all herself.

If I am being completely honest, I would expect a man to pay for the pill, completely. (Not that I would ever put myself at risk by taking artificial hormones just so that vaginal intercourse can be had, as I am not that keen on it, anyway. But in theory.)

One person does all the work and takes all the risk, is it not then fair that the other person pay for the "fun"?

If I was more into vaginal sex than I am, then perhaps I would offer to pay half for condoms ... but the pill? Which puts all the risk and responsibility on me? Nope.

Is this attitude (woman should pay for the pill herself, even though she has just this one sex partner) common?

The asker asks how to handle it if the man refuses to pay half. I'd recommend to get rid of him as he clearly wouldn't be worth her time in that case.


Helenluvsrob Mon 02-May-16 20:14:06

Odd question to pose on a site with a mainly uk based population.

In the uk contraception is free at the point if delivery as a nhs service. It doesn't attract prescription charges ever.

TurnOffTheTv Mon 02-May-16 20:20:14

But you don't pay for contraception? And I'm sure condoms are free at the clinic as well.

VestalVirgin Mon 02-May-16 20:22:56

I'm not from the UK, and was more interested in the theoretical attitude to the question. (It is theoretical for me, anyway.)

It being an NHS service is very sensible, no doubt, but if you had to pay for it individually, how would you do it?

FoxesSitOnBoxes Mon 02-May-16 20:26:07

I'd pay myself. My body, my pregnancy, my decision to have sex. Taking money would make me feel guilty if I decided I didn't actually want to have sex and that's not on

VikingVolva Mon 02-May-16 20:28:09

I suppose it would depend on whether you chose it solely for contraception (shared risk of pregnancy and cost of raising a child), contraception plus alleviation of other symptoms (still shared in part) or solely for the alleviation of other symptoms.

How expensive is it where you are?

StylishDuck Mon 02-May-16 20:29:11

Surely contraception is a personal choice (and by that I mean what works best for you as a couple). If you were so concerned with the risks of taking the pill then you would use one of the many other forms of contraception available.

As for expecting the man to pay for it completely in the sense that he's paying for "fun". I find that viewpoint quite strange and it would make me feel very uncomfortable if my partner said something to that effect.

TurnOffTheTv Mon 02-May-16 20:32:00

I would still pay for it myself. How much is it where you are? Saying that the person who is getting the 'fun' should pay for it sounds like they are paying for sex. And is the woman not having 'fun' as well. You're making it sound like a boring chore.

tribpot Mon 02-May-16 20:32:55

It's a strange question to think about in the UK given it's already free but even if we introduced some form of insurance-based healthcare (and no Mr Hunt that is not what the population wants despite what your mates at Virgin Care tell you) it would likely be covered on a 'family' policy unless you were two singletons dating rather than living together or whatever.

Assuming therefore I was not in a long term, committed relationship I would expect to pay for it. If I was in such a relationship I'd expect the cost to be shared in the same way as any other household bill. I pay for my DH's prescription pre-payment certificate even though I don't 'benefit' from the vast array of medication he has to take.

meditrina Mon 02-May-16 20:37:52

"vaginal intercourse .... I am not that keen on it, anyway"

I think women who do like it (whether with committed partner, in a polyamorous arrangement, of just recreationally of casually) but who do not want to start a pregnancy at the moment would take quite a different view on its utility to them.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Mon 02-May-16 20:39:13

I had to pay a prescription charge when I first went on the pill but soon after that the pill became free in the UK.

There were other benefits too ( light periods and cleared up skin problems)

Obviously what each person likes sexually is up to them but I agree with StylishDuck expecting the man to pay for the pill if it weren't free is very strange. And to be honest sounds a bit like prostitution.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Mon 02-May-16 20:41:02

One person does all the work and takes all the risk, is it not then fair that the other person pay for the "fun"

In our relationship dh does all the "work" when it comes to sex grin

If I had to pay (long term relationship) it would come out of the joint account - same as dh's asthma meds. New relationship I would pay myself.

GraysAnalogy Mon 02-May-16 20:42:54

If I had to pay for it I'd pay for it myself. It's my body, and it's my body I want to refrain from being impregnated. That responsibility is on me. My choice to have unprotected sex knowing that this is a responsibility.

I also don't think it's prudent to rely on someone else financially for birth control. This gives them power over you.

I have read on other forums about men paying for Plan B the day after having sexual intercourse with one night stands. They hadn't been asked to but offered to, women usually said yes as it's $70 to buy apparently.

Leopard12 Mon 02-May-16 20:45:24

It's my choice to be on the pill and as I take it and both enjoy the sex equally would be happy to pay myself if it wasn't on nhs, there's also other benefits such as lighter periods and changing period dates so can avoid holiday (unless it was really expensive then I would suggest halfs)

Bohemond Mon 02-May-16 20:52:59

It wouldn't cross my mind to ask a man to pay or even contribute - but then again i do earn more than most men I have dated grin

YonicTrowel Mon 02-May-16 21:49:35

I guess in a non-live in relationship, the one to whom the protection is actively applied would pay/sort out ie men would be more likely to buy condoms and women the pill. That's largely practicality as the woman has to go her it prescribed, collect from chemist etc so will actually be paying and might then ask for "reimbursement", I suppose.

GreenTomatoJam Tue 03-May-16 07:40:36

I've lived in countries where you had to pay for contraception, and it honestly didn't occur to me to ask my other halves at the time to contribute! (it was a few years ago, but I think it cost me about 4 quid a month - I may be completely mis-remembering)

TBH, the whole idea of him contributing makes me uncomfortable - makes me feel like he might think he had some kind of say over my body/our sex life (as it concerns me) because he was paying for my contraception.

On the other hand, for condoms, we've always gone 50/50 (or alternated) - except when I was a student when it was regular trips to the campus clinic to grab handfuls.

I've had the morning after pill once (and it wasn't a pleasant experience, we're being much more careful now!) - I seem to remember it was 35 quid and a chat with the pharmacist - I know that if I were unable to afford it, I could have got it for free too.

YonicTrowel Tue 03-May-16 09:02:53

Yeah, I think i would play it as "I just stumped up £20 for the pill, you can get the drinks in" rather than asking for half because of that "control" aspect.

grimbletart Tue 03-May-16 09:10:36

Call me old fashioned but if who pays for contraception is an issue between two people then they probably don't know or trust each other well enough to even be having sex.

YonicTrowel Tue 03-May-16 09:17:12

Grimble, I'm picturing this applying to relationships in between the "going steady" and the moving in stage.

It's also tricky as contraception is free in the uk so it's hypothetical for most of us.

NapQueen Tue 03-May-16 09:21:06

If we are "dating" - I would pay for the pill and they would pay for condoms. Once we are living together then id be happy to ditch the condoms and the pill would be bought in with the groceries / household supplies. Same as condoms would be if that was the sole method of BC.

Heirhelp Tue 03-May-16 09:22:25

An interesting one. If I had to pay for it now it would come from joint money, which is the same way we are paying for anything related to my pregnancy including prenatal vitamins to feeding bras. We are are paying for things jointly because although it is my pregnancy, it is our child who we are both responsible for. Therefore for us, logically we should be both be financially responsible for contraception. I think it is part of a bigger issue of the financial arrangements between the couple. My DH puts more money into our joint account than I do so he is paying for more than me. But we have an equal amount of pocket money.

GibbousHologram Tue 03-May-16 09:41:28

What would you do in case of a short-lived fling? Ask for a fiver? confused

No. If I was single or close to, I'd be paying myself. If I was in relationship, it'd be a joint expense like the wine.

Heirhelp Tue 03-May-16 09:43:59

I would pay for the pill and they could pay for the condoms.

TeiTetua Tue 03-May-16 12:05:28

When a couple first meet, and if condoms are the method, either person might keep some at home in case of need. But if the woman were already on the pill, that would remain her business until the couple really had a firm relationship.

But if they have unprotected sex and she needs the morning-after pill, I can see that as a shared expense. In fact if the man realizes that they made a mistake together and he owes a share, that's something in his favour. Along with a resolve not to do it again.

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