Contraception has changed the way we live our lives by allowing us to choose whether or not to become pregnant, as well as to time our periods, minimize acne, and keep the sense of control that comes with being able to regulate our fertility.
From condoms to pills, there are so many different methods of contraception, as well as many misunderstandings, that it may be difficult to select which method of contraception is right for you. Here are six myths about contraception that should be addressed.
1. The rhythm method is exactly as successful as other methods of birth control
While certain phases of the month are more likely to result in pregnancy, accurately tracking and forecasting your fertility requires a regular cycle (which many women do not have) and careful attention to changes in your menstruation, cervical mucus, and/or body temperature.
The rhythm method or fertility awareness method relies on your cycle for birth control and is around 76-88% effective. While it can be an effective tool for family planning, it is not the most reliable method of contraception.
2. Hormonal birth control causes infertility
Birth control has no impact on fertility and has no long-term effects on your chance to have children if you stop using it. You can become pregnant as soon as you stop taking birth control, whether it's an IUD, implant, pill, patch, or ring. The shot is the only treatment that takes a bit longer to stop preventing pregnancy. The injection might stay in your body for up to ten months.
3. Hormonal contraception causes cancer
Another common belief is that birth control drugs cause cancer. Birth control may modestly increase the risk of some forms of cancer, including breast and cervical cancer. For example, one study discovered a small rise in breast cancer incidence among women who took oral contraceptives. Overall, the danger remained minimal.
The majority of the increased risk, however, was among women who took a triphasic pill, which combines three separate hormone dosages during a woman's cycle. Other types of pills may have a smaller risk. Moreover, the study was unable to account for any additional risk variables. Birth control tablets, on the other hand, can reduce the risk of various forms of cancer:
- Endometrial cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Colorectal cancer
4. If you're nursing, you don't need to use birth control
This widely held belief is completely untrue, and it is likely to be the cause of many unintended pregnancies. The fact is that nursing solely (without supplementation with formula) might decrease pituitary hormones, which cause you to ovulate. So, while there is a drop in your fertility at this time, it is far from certain. All bets are off if you nurse sometimes while supplementing with formula.
5. The morning-after pill causes abortion
Emergency contraceptive pills, often known as the morning-after pill or Plan B, are high-dose birth control pills used to prevent pregnancy after having intercourse without using contraception. Taking a morning-after pill doesn't mean having an abortion. Abortion is a procedure that terminates an already-formed pregnancy. Emergency contraception minimizes the need for a subsequent abortion due to an unwanted pregnancy.
Because there is also an abortion pill available, some people confuse emergency contraception with this medication. Additionally, some anti-contraceptive organizations spread the myth that the morning-after pill causes abortion. Emergency contraception doesn't and can't cause an abortion. It doesn't terminate a pregnancy, but rather prevents it from happening.
6. The contraceptive pill causes weight gain
This is one of the most widespread misconceptions about birth control. While each medication has its unique set of potential side effects, they seldom impact the majority of people. In the case of the contraceptive pill, relatively few women will gain weight in the form of increased body fat as a result of using it. Any apparent weight gain produced by the pill is mostly due to minor fluid retention.