6 Myths About Contraception

by Allison Bush Editor

For women, choosing a birth control method can be a laborious process. To make your job easier, here are six common myths surrounding various methods.

The pill is effective as soon as you start taking it

For many women, one complete menstrual cycle is needed for the hormones in the pill (oral contraceptive) to work with the woman's natural hormones to prevent ovulation.

You should use a back-uo method of birth control during your first month of taking the pill.

Birth control pills make you gain weight

Many women blame the pill for extra weight gain, but it's just not true. Birth control pills contain two synthetic female hormones: estrogen and progesterone. Though they are known to cause fluid retention, these hormones are in very small doses in today's birth control formulations, so they should not make you gain weight.

Contraception isn't necessary for women over 35

Women in their late 30s may believe that because their fertility is on the decline, it's okay to stop using any form of contraception. However, so long as women are still having a period - even if it's not regular - they can conceive.

Breastfeeding prevents pregnancy

It's true that prolactin, the same hormone that produces breast milk, suppresses ovulation; however, gynecologists don’t recommend relying on it because if your breastfeeding routine changes, so does your risk of pregnancy.

Your body needs a break from birth control pills

If you’re comfortable with your birth control pills, there’s no medical reason to take a break, unless your goal is to get pregnant.

Condoms are only for men

Several companies now make condoms for women. Compared to male condoms, which are 85 to 98 percent effective at preventing pregnancy, female condoms are 79 to 95 percent effective. Also, condoms are the only birth control method that protects again sexually transmitted diseases.

Source: ECU.edu

Allison Bush
Meet Our Writer
Allison Bush

Allison Bush is a former HealthCentral editor who covered a wide range of health topics.