So let’s talk about something that often goes ignored in some fiction. Money. Sure, it comes up when a character needs money to save the community center, it comes up when one character is a billionaire or gazillionaire. But money ties into a lot of decisions characters make about sex, and no I am not solely referring to sex work.
Technically I could have called this section contraception part 5. Because guess what costs money? Contraception does! Guess what also costs money? Babies! If your characters exist in the current US healthcare system, guess what costs money? Healthcare!
So, if your story exists in a world, culture, or universe outside of the modern US, these are still things worth considering:
What kind of money and access to healthcare do your characters have?
What are the potential financial and social results of their seeking access for any sort of reproductive related healthcare? What are the potential financial and social results of their having a child?
Now, I’ll repeat again, that I am not saying you have to write perfect characters who sit and write lists of all these questions, sort out the accompanying answers, and then behave in accordance with the choices that bring them the greatest amount of pleasure (entendre intended) and avoid all those that will bring them pain.
I am suggesting the author should know the answers to these questions. If fictional author A writes a story with a character who is still paying off their student loans, hasn’t held a regular job, and is in danger of being kicked out of their apartment, I the reader am going to be really interested in how that character got access to the pill.
And, to use a slightly different metaphor to repeat a point I’ve made before, your story is an iceberg. Some of these details will not need to be on the page. I still enjoyed “Frozen” even though I have no idea how a country survives when it’s queens keep skipping all their court meetings for adventures.
Also, I’m a huge pantser. It often doesn’t occur to me to answer these questions, until the second draft. I’m not trying to ruin your fiction, only enhance it.
In the first season on the TV show “Shrill”, our main character Annie tells her roommate her boyfriend doesn’t like condoms so they just haven’t been using them. She has been using emergency contraception when she gets pregnant.
Except, well, emergency contraception, is – as the show notes, less reliable for folks over a certain weight. Also, while the show does not get into this, the latest studies show sperm can rock up to five days waiting on a cool egg to fertilize, so emergency contraception is a useful choice for folks. But, there is always the chance that by the time the character goes to retrieve the emergency contraception and take it, that they are already pregnant.
As Annie talks this through with her roommate, her roommate also notes, that emergency contraception is not a particularly cheap option. So the financial and health burden of this choice has been falling entirely on Annie. So the money your characters have or have been presented as having, should factor into the decisions they make about sex.
ACOG – Fertility: https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/contraception/fertility-awareness-based-methods-of-family-planning