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Did you know your relationship affects your health?

Are you in a 'healthy' relationship?

Ask yourself:

  • Is my partner kind to me and respectful of my choices?
  • Does my partner support my using birth control?
  • Does my partner support my decisions about if or when I want to have more children?

If you answered YES to these questions, it is likely that you are in a healthy relationship. Studies show that this kind of relationship leads to better health, longer life, and helps your children.

Are you in an 'unhealthy' relationship?

Ask yourself:

  • Does my partner mess with my birth control or try to get me pregnant when I don’t want to be?
  • Does my partner refuse to use condoms when I ask?
  • Does my partner make me have sex when I don’t want to?
  • Does my partner tell me who I can talk to or where I can go?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, your health and safety may be in danger.

Is your body being affected?

Ask yourself:

  • Am I afraid to ask my partner to use condoms?
  • Am I afraid my partner would hurt me if I told him I had an STI and he needed to be treated too?
  • Have I hidden birth control from my partner so he wouldn’t get me pregnant?
  • Has my partner made me afraid or physically hurt me?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you may be at risk for STI/HIV, unwanted pregnancies and serious injury.

Who controls pregnancy decisions?

Ask yourself. Has my partner ever:

  • Tried to pressure or make me get pregnant?
  • Hurt or threatened me because I didn’t agree to get pregnant?

If I’ve ever been pregnant:

  • Has my partner told me he would hurt me if I didn’t do what he wanted with the pregnancy (in either direction – continuing the pregnancy or abortion)?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you are not alone and you deserve to make your own decisions without being afraid.

Taking control:

Your partner may see pregnancy as a way to keep you in his life and stay connected to you through a child – even if that isn’t what you want.

If your partner makes you have sex, messes or tampers with your birth control or refuses to use condoms:

  • Talk to your health care provider about birth control you can control (like IUD, implant or injection).
  • The IUD is a safe device that is put into the uterus and prevents pregnancy up to 10 years. The strings can be cut off so your partner can’t feel them. The IUD can be removed at any time when you want to become pregnant.
  • Emergency contraception (some call it the morning after pill) can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. It can be taken out of its packaging and slipped into an envelope or empty pill bottle so your partner won’t know.

Getting help:

  • If your partner checks your cell phone or texts, talk to your health care provider about using their phone to call domestic violence services – so your partner can’t see it on your call log.
  • If you have an STI and are afraid your partner will hurt you if you tell him, talk with your health care provider about how to be safer and how they might tell your partner about the infection without using your name.
  • Studies show educating friends and family about abuse can help them take steps to be safer.
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City Health Care Partnership CIC