Talking with your partner about your reproductive goals

How many children do you want to have in your family?  When do you want to have them?  These are part of your reproductive goals, and it's important to know if they are the same as your partner's reproductive goals.  Deciding if and when to have another baby can be a tough decision. You might be weighing the pros and cons with a partner. You and your partner may have different ideas of when to have a baby, as well as how to prevent an unplanned pregnancy.  While it’s okay to disagree, it’s not alright to pressure someone else into having a child. 

Communicate Openly

 Talking about having another child can be an emotionally-charged conversation. Try bringing up the subject in a safe and comfortable setting. Be patient with each other as you begin to share your perspectives. It can be upsetting to hear that your partner does or does not want another child if you feel differently. Give yourself time to process privately. When you’re ready to return to the conversation, do so in a compassionate, thoughtful way. This will help you both determine how to move forward. 

Plan for Another Baby

 Some people might be on the same page about more children, while others have to compromise. One strategy to help with this is to create a plan. If your barrier to having another baby is stable housing, then work with your partner to plan how you will obtain and afford a suitable place to live. If your concern is enough income, then plan together how you can build careers that will make affording another baby a possibility. If you and your partner are in agreement about having another baby, talk to your medical provider about any health issues or concerns you may have before you stop using your birth control method. 

Consider Your Options

 If you’re not on the same page about more children, you might feel uneasy about the future of your relationship. Closely examine why one person wants more children and why one doesn’t – these issues could also be related to something else entirely. This is an important opportunity to really learn what it is you each want in life, and to consider how you both can reach your reproductive goals. 

Steer Clear of Reproductive Coercion

 It is never okay to pressure, sabotage, or otherwise go against a partner’s wishes when it comes to birth control use. Some examples of this include: 
  • Hiding or destroying a partner’s contraceptives
  • Breaking or poking holes in a condom on purpose
  • Removing a condom during sex in an attempt to promote pregnancy (this is called “stealthing”)
  • Not withdrawing when that was the agreed upon method of contraception
Someone who attempts to become impregnated by you or impregnate you against your wishes is committing a type of Intimate Partner Violence called Reproductive Coercion. This could also include dictating pregnancy plans or convincing you to have unprotected sex. If you are experiencing these behaviors, please visit or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for support.