Debunking The Myths Surrounding Contraceptives
The advances made in contraceptive and family planning research over the recent decade has served well to give us better and diverse services promoting safety and efficiency of birth control. This has led to an increased number of women opting to use family planning methods. However, lack of knowledge and the fear of side effects has been part of the leading factors linked to patterns of poor or no contraceptive use. There are a lot of myths surrounding the efficiency and safety of birth controls, which create needless fear and may discourage some people from using the birth controls.
In this article we debunk the myths and present the facts behind a range of birth controls used today. Contraception is an essential part of our sexual and reproductive health, yet it’s still among the most misunderstood areas of our common healthcare.
- You can’t get pregnant with the withdrawal method
This among the most common myths among the youths today. This may be because in schools we are taught that sperms are released the moment ejaculation happens. However, in reality men normally produce small amounts of ejaculates before they climax. Withdrawing will certainly reduce the chances of getting pregnant. However, this doesn’t mean that it wholly eliminates the probability.
- The birth control pills lead to weight gain.
A hilarious myth today is how the pill alters your metabolism and hunger levels. Like many myths, there is an element of truth here, but it’s still very misleading. Weight gain only happens if you eat too much for your needs. Hormones can occasionally slightly alter your appetite but nothing is forcing you to eat.
- It’s a good idea to take a break in your birth control
Some people worry that taking the pill for too long could impact their reproductive health, so they take breaks whenever they can. The reality is that a pause in your use of the pill won’t really make much difference. These days the hormones within birth control pills are at very low levels, so you can continue to take them for many years without problems. Taking a break in your birth control pills is only advisable if you are trying to get pregnant. A very common unexpected pregnancy story we hear is the one where you go off the pill because you’ve broken up; forgetting all of our propensity for making up unexpectedly with ex’s.
- You can’t get pregnant if you have sex during your period
It’s unlikely, but it’s far from impossible. Sperm can live inside the body for up to 7 days and most women have fairly irregular cycles, so it’s hard to know exactly when the egg will be released. If you ovulate soon after your period, you could become pregnant. It’s very hard to predict the ‘safe’ times during your cycle.
- Two condoms make sex safer
Condoms are 98% effective, but doubling up doesn’t double your odds. In actual fact, the two condoms will rub together and are actually more likely to split than a single condom.
- The pill or IUD is all the protection I need
These are both fantastic methods of contraception, but they do nothing to protect you from sexually transmitted infection. If you’re on the pill and you’re seeing a range of partners, you should still use a condom. If you have one, regular partner, consider going for STI tests to make sure you are both negative. After that, it’s up to you