It's a common question for many couples: who is responsible for preventing unintended pregnancies? Many believe it is a responsibility that should be shared by both men and women, and others default to women as the ones who need to take charge of their own bodies. Which is the right answer? Well, maybe neither.
Perhaps the answer to the birth control question is: It is everyone's responsibility to take responsibility of one's own sexual health as well as the sexual health of their partners.
If you're a female trying to be smart about not getting pregnant, you need to be in charge of how to manage contraception use. The means doing the research: reading about various types of contraceptive and deciding which methods will help you prevent unintended pregnancies and which methods will prevent you from catching an STI. Using reliable and effective methods, such as committing to condom use and oral contraceptives are great, adding less effective methods such as the withdrawal method to your regimen is great as well. The point is to get serious! No one will necessarily look out for your body more than you. Taking care of yourself is also about your sexual health.
If you're a male and you're trying to help your partner prevent pregnancies in a safe and effective way, you need to be responsible as well. Don't make someone who is important to you in your life struggle for what she deserves. Respecting her body means not griping about condoms, getting tested for STIs and being supportive about birth control methods. It's also about having a conversation about what you will do if she does get pregnant. Having this conversation together may be important in the context of your relationship, as it can help ease any anxiety about how supportive she think you may or may not be.
There's no need to put the weight of birth control on solely men or women. If partners are supportive and respectful, it'll make it easier for you to set that alarm, or never say we'll just skip the condom this time. People need to get over the notion of only women caring about birth control. Everyone needs to be responsible!