Contraception is an accepted part of life. But, when there are so many options available and one is actually spoilt for choice, several myths about contraception abound. We believe that incomplete knowledge, lack of discussion, ignorance, anecdotal evidence and hearsay are the reasons why these myths exist. Today, we're busting the five most common myths about contraception. Let's begin!
Myth. There are no side effects of birth control pills.
Fact. There will be side effects if you indulge in an overdose of contraceptive pills. Fertility issues, nausea, vomiting, headaches, cramps and irregular/heavy bleeding are some of the effects. Other side effects can be:
- Irregular periods. In some cases, periods may also stop.
- Breast tenderness.
- Mood swings.
- Depression and weight changes.
Myth. I just have to pop a pill right after sex to avoid pregnancy.
Fact. You should take a mini-pill about the same time of day, every day - even when you are menstruating and not right after intercourse. You can choose your own time of day. For example, you may decide to take one in the afternoon or after dinner. But thereafter, you must adhere to that time. If you are late in taking the pill, by more than three hours, you may become pregnant.
Myth. I can’t get pregnant, if I am breastfeeding.
Fact. Even though breastfeeding tends to postpone ovulation, there is no guarantee for the same. Ovulation can occur, even when a woman is breastfeeding. Thus, in a bid to stay away from pregnancy, start using birth control during this period if you have an active sexual life. This should happen even when your menstruation has not resumed. However, please be informed that you might suffer from a decrease in breast-milk production after going back to the pill, and this should be thoroughly discussed with your healthcare provider.
Myth. I won’t get pregnant, because there was no ejaculation.
Fact. The process when the penis is removed from the vagina, before the man ejaculates, also known as the withdrawal technique is at times used as a birth control method, but it comes with no guarantees. This depends on how much a man understands his body, because if the man actually begins to climax, i.e. reach his point of sexual excitement, ejaculation can no longer be postponed.
Myth. Emergency contraceptive pills offer protection and will keep me away from sexually transmitted diseases.
Fact. They do not protect you from any sexually transmitted disease or AIDS. It is often seen that young women who used to rely totally on the condom earlier, now use i-pills like morning tea. This is worrisome. The possibility of sexual diseases must be considered when engaging in unsafe sex. 20% of the patients are women who take these pills without being aware of the harmful effects. Taking them without the advice of a doctor can create an imbalance between the body and its natural cycle. Emergency contraceptive pills are beneficial only if used once in a month, but if you keep popping the pill the result could be adverse.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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