Birth Control – Facts & Myths

Birth control Myths, also known as contraception, is a fertility control terminology. Wherein pills or injections are consumed or devices are installed in a female’s uterus. Right from the younger days of a female to when they are adults, there is constant chitter-chatter about birth control options. Some women think that their breasts are facing an enlargement issue, whereas some think their breasts are shrinking. Some women think that they are becoming very moody. Whereas some are perpetually irritated and grumpy. Women claim that consuming hormonal birth control pills makes it harder for their breasts to pump milk, whereas some say it is 10 times harder to get pregnant once you have stopped taking any contraception methods. 

People are in this world to talk. If you believe everything that you hear then you are mostly allowing an influx of faulty information that makes you question your health choices and put you in a limbo as to figuring out what is actually a fact and what is simply a myth. Keep reading to get rid of the worry that some birth control myths indicate, while also learning about some real facts of birth control solutions. 

Myth – Emergency Contraception only proves to be effective on the next morning after unprotected sex

This is absolute nonsense. Any form of Emergency Contraception, be it a pill or an IUD. Can be consumed as and when the female feels like, provided it is inside a four-day period post having unprotected sex. There is nothing like ‘it must be taken in the morning’. Also, keep in mind that ECP (Emergency Contraceptive Pills) are no abortion pills. All they do is kill any active sperms in the vagina, cervical tract or near the uterus so that there is no chance of pregnancy. The most proven and effective method of Emergency Contraception is the copper IUD. It can be inserted 4 days after unprotected sex and leads to instant protection from pregnancy for a time period of up to 10 years.

Myth – Birth Control Pills make you gain additional weight

This is inaccurate information once again. The birth control pill by itself in no way makes a female gain weight. However, weight gain can occur due to the effects that the hormones have on a person’s appetite. The inclusion of the Progestin hormone. Is known to cause an increase in appetite in women. If this increased consumption of food is not balanced by regular exercise and dietary. Precautions then how can one expect not to gain weight? Also, estrogen in pills can lead to bloating. But this bloating effect vanishes after some time. 

Myth – All birth control pills portray the exact same effect and the brand does not matter

No, the brand and type of your birth control pill do matter. Each type of birth control pill has a different amount of hormone induced into it. Also, the number and type of hormones added can vary. As each female’s body reacts to these hormones in different ways, it is crucial that a doctor is the one who prescribes the medication. Women who are pregnant and are using birth control pills must make sure there is no estrogen present. This is because the estrogen reduces the milk production in breasts and the baby can also consume some estrogen while being breastfed. This inclusion of mad-made hormones can affect the baby in any way. 

The 2 types of pills that women generally choose between are Combination pills (they contain progestin and estrogen) and Progestin-only pills (they contain only progestin).

Myth – Birth control pills can contribute to the growth of cancer

This is plain paranoia that is induced due to a change in bodily feelings 0nce a birth control pill is taken. Birth control pills, in fact, are known to drastically reduce the probability of being diagnosed with Endometrial and Ovarian cysts/cancers. 

Speaking of cervical cancer, it cannot be directly associated with the consumption of pills. But, if a woman has an STI known as HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), then the chance of getting cervical cancer increases with the passing of each day.

Myth – There is a major risk of infertility or a prolonged period until fertility is re-established

This again is incorrect information and leads to disruptions for women while deciding to opt for hormonal birth control options or not. The truth is that many hormonal contraception methods offer protection from infertility. This is because the pills also offer safeguarding effects against ectopic pregnancy, endometriosis and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Factors such as the age of the woman, her sexual history, the number of children she has or the frequency of consuming birth control pills are all considered regardless of when speaking about infertility.

The reality is that a woman can instantly return to fertility post a few weeks of stopping the consumption of birth control pills. Whereas, if an IUD has been implanted. As soon as the device is removed the female regains her fertility.

Myth – Females over 35 years of age cannot use the pill and all teenagers need prescriptions

If this was the case then the world would be a very different place. A female who is healthy, not overweight, has normal blood pressure, no heart / kidney / liver defects and has regulated bad habits can easily consume lower dosage pills. Perimenopausal females in their 40s and 50s who face heavy irregular periods are totally safe to use birth control pills. 

Speaking of teenagers, depending on the country and state they live in, the laws can vary. Some states require a doctor’s prescription whereas the majority of them simply pass on a packet of birth control pills over the counter. 

Myth – Birth control solutions are 100 percent effective

No, birth control options are 70 to 99 percent effective based on the type of option you are choosing. In fact, none of the birth control options is 100 percent effective except for abstaining from sexual activity. The most effective of all is the copper IUD. Also known as Paragard or a non-hormonal IUD. 98 percent times, a woman does not get pregnant for a duration of 10 years as long as the copper IUD is inside her uterus. Condoms, patches, and diaphragms show effectiveness rates of 79 to 91 percent. Spermicides, gels, and sponges show an effectiveness rate of 74 to 87 percent. The Depo-Provera injection proves to be effective 94 percent of the time.

Whenever you combine 2 forms of birth control, the odds of becoming pregnant become extremely low. For example – a condom and a spermicide, a vaginal ring and a spermicide, a pill and a spermicide, a sponge and a condom, etc.

It is advisable to not believe in the knowledge of any individual or group unless and until they are experts in the medical field. Most of the myths associated with birth control above do not apply to every woman. Each female is unique and has different bodily requirements for living a comfortable and healthy life. Rather than worrying your mind due to these false statements, you must do your own research or head to a healthcare provider for assured correct answers.