8 Contraception Myths You Should Know About
In this article, we’ll debunk some of the most prevailing contraception myths on the internet.
What Are Birth Control Pills?
Birth control pills or oral contraceptive pills are hormonal medications. These are helpful to protect females from unwanted pregnancies. There are progestin-only pills or minipills. These contain only the synthetic version of progesterone hormone. Then there are combination pills. These contain manmade estrogen and progesterone. Both these types of medicines work to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. There are non-hormonal forms of birth control as well, such as IUDs, condoms, surgical sterilization, etc.
Many have a false belief that birth control pills raise the risk of diseases and health conditions. Others may think that the medicines are not that effective or have a negative impact on their reproductive system. However, none of these claims are true. As per research, contraception helps women to do family planning and protect their health.
So, today we are here to bust some of the common myths about contraception.
Contraception Myth #1: Contraception Methods Give Rise to General Health Issues
There is a myth that birth control causes asthma, prolonged headaches, and alopecia (hair loss). But the fact is that there are no long-lasting negative effects. Some women may experience side effects for a short period with combined oral contraceptives. These common effects include nausea, headache, and spotting or breakthrough bleeding. But these side effects do not cause any serious health issues. The common side effects are also not a sign of a disease or illness.
- Even if there are a few side effects, as the body adjusts to the new hormone levels, these cease.
- Women have been using birth control together for years. They do not experience adverse effects even when using the medication for the long-term.
- In fact, contraceptives have several benefits. These protect against unwanted pregnancy, regularize periods, reduce PMS and PCOS symptoms, cause lighter periods, etc.
The medication protects against ovarian cysts, certain cancers, safeguard against pelvic inflammatory disease, reduce ovulation pain, reduce symptoms of endometriosis, and reduce excess hair on body and face, and a lot more.
Contraception Myth #2: There is Confusion about When and How to Take the Pill
Females could be misinformed about when and how to take hormonal birth control pills like Lo Ovral or Yasmin pill. But, if you follow simple intake directions, it is easy to understand how to use the medicine.
If you start the pill pack in 5 days after the start of your periods then you do not have to use a backup method. This is because you will be already protected from pregnancy. If you begin with the birth control pills more than 5 days later, then you can start them at any time.
As long as you are not pregnant, it is okay to take the pills. You will have to however use a backup contraception method like a condom in the first 7 days of taking pills. This will help you against unplanned pregnancy.
The success rate of the birth control pill depends on how regularly you take the tablets. It is mandatory to take the tablets every day at the same time until the medication pack is exhausted. There is no specific hour that you should take the tablet.
Just that you should take them every day at the same time to maintain hormone levels in your body. Also, it will keep you protected against side effects with consistent use.
- It is necessary not to break the schedule until the medication pack is over or even if you do not have intercourse.
- After the medication pack is over, you will get withdrawal bleeding soon in a few days. Then, you have to start with a new medication pack as indicated by the doctor.
- If you use the 21-days medication pack, then you have to wait for 7 days before starting with a new pack. If the pack contains 28 pills, then you need to start the next pack from the very next day.
The amount of misinformation shared on this topic makes it one of the biggest contraception myths that people easily believe.
Contraception Myth #3: Using Contraception Can Cause Birth Defects
Women may sometimes believe the rumor that birth control causes birth defects in babies. But this is untrue as contraceptives do not cause birth defects in the youngling. It does not even harm the fetus. This is true even if you become accidentally pregnant, when on a contraceptive. However, it is advisable to stop using birth control once you get pregnant. This is because you will not ovulate otherwise as well during pregnancy.
Contraception Myth #4: Contraceptives Affects Your Ability to Have a Child in the Future
Many females think that birth control causes a long delay in pregnancy even after stopping the pills. And they believe that it will be difficult to have children later in life. But the fact remains that contraceptive pills do not lead to infertility.
So it does not matter if you use the pills for a few months or years together. Your ability to get pregnant will not get affected. Even the number of children you have will not deter the efficacy of the pill and your fertility in the future.
The medication brings only timely hormonal changes in the body to protect against pregnancy. This is a natural process. The medicine also safeguards against ectopic pregnancy, endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease. And protection against these conditions helps improve fertility. After stopping the contraceptive medication, your body may take some time again to adjust to the change. But this is unrelated to your fertility.
Contraception Myth #5: Birth Control Pill May Lead to Cancer
Some females have the misconception that combined oral contraceptives may lead to uterine cancer, breast cancer, or ovarian cancer. However, it is vice-versa. Birth control medicines decrease the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer.
The medications also improve gynecological health. But it is difficult to know the effect of hormonal pills in the use of cervical cancer and breast cancer. But the protection against the cancer of ovaries and uterine lining continues for 15 years or more. The protection remains even after you stop taking the medication.
Contraception Myth #6: Birth Control Affects Libido and Pleasure
Women may think that contraceptives affect their desire for intimacy and loss of libido. Some may even believe that the medication may reduce sensation in private parts. But there is no evidence that proves such beliefs as true. The pills do not have any impact on libido.
The medicine also does not reduce interest in physical intimacy or its performance. In fact, the medication creates a balance of sex hormones, which improves the overall health of women.
Contraception Myth #7: Contraceptive Pills Encourage Infidelity
Females who do not know about the benefits of birth control pills may think the medicine encourages infidelity. However, the fact is that there is no evidence of such claims. The medications have no effect on a female’s sexual behavior.
In fact, using these medicines makes you more responsible for your reproductive health. The pills also help to avoid unintended pregnancies. Using condoms will also increase the efficacy of birth control and protect against the spread of sexually transmitted infections and diseases.
Contraception Myth #8: Birth Control Pills May Get Absorbed at Wrong Parts of Body
Some women have a false belief that substances from contraceptive pills get stored in the wrong parts of the body. They think the medication may cause tumors and disease. Or that the medication may get stored in the uterus, ovaries, and stomach and lead to stone formation. But the truth is that the medication once swallowed dissolves quickly in the digestive system.
The hormones in the medication get absorbed in the bloodstream. And after the medicine takes effect, the gut and liver metabolize the hormones. The remnants get flushed out of the body system. Thus, the substances from medicines do not gather in any part of the body or have any toxic effects.
Contraception Myths: Final Thoughts
As understood, there are several myths about contraception. But, the above-given facts may have surely cleared some of these myths. For more information about contraceptives and their different types, you can consult your physician.
You can also choose a birth control method as per your lifestyle, health condition, and preference. Using contraceptives will protect you against pregnancy even if you get physically intimate. Also, as discussed above, hormonal birth control measures have other health benefits as well.
March 20, 2020 Sam Bell