Ladies, how much do you know about contraception? It’s something we learn about or teach ourselves, but is awareness around sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy really as common as we think?
So, what are the myths making folks hesitate from getting protected? Here are 10 myths about contraception.
‘I can’t get pregnant when breastfeeding’ – breastfeeding can postpone ovulation but this is not always the case, if you don’t want to get pregnant, make sure you use another birth control method that is appropriate for breast feeding women.
‘He can use a balloon if we don’t have a condom’ – these can easily break or tear, they won’t fit correctly, and they don’t have spermicide. Condoms are designed to fully protect you from diseases and prevent sperm reaching the cervix (your lady cave), the above methods will not do this.
‘My man can pull out before climax’ – some sperm can be released before climax, causing you to get pregnant, this ‘withdrawal’ method also doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
‘The contraceptive pill is effective as soon as you take it’ – this is not always the case, some women must complete a full cycle before the hormones in the pill work with the body’s hormones to stop ovulation.
‘There’s only two main methods of contraception – the pill & condoms’ – while these are the most common types, there are actually 15 methods of contraception in the USA and UK, all available via the NHS In the UK.
‘Wearing two condoms is a safe bet’ – Actually, wearing two condoms can increase the risk of them splitting or breaking. If you’re using them correctly, condoms are 95% (female) and 98% (male) effective.
‘The pill can only be taken for a limited period’ – the contraceptive pill can be taken from puberty through to menopause, with no change in its effectiveness.
‘The pill causes cancer’ – the pill actually protects against ovarian and endometrial cancer, which can continue for 15 years (or more) after you stop taking it. That said, studies show that breast cancer is slightly more common in women that use/have used combined oral contraceptives (COCs) in the past ten years against other women. However, there is no proof of direct cause – the cancer may have been there and just found earlier with COC users. Whether you’re on a COC or not, it’s important to be breast cancer aware and regularly check your breasts for changes.
‘Condoms make sex unenjoyable and can cause premature ejaculation’ – it is a myth that condoms constrict an erect penis, causing an early climax. If you’re worried about decreased sensation with a condom, using a textured or ultra-thin condom, as well as lubrication can help with stimulation, while keeping you safe from STDs and pregnancy.
‘Using the contraceptive pill can make it harder to get pregnant after you stop’ – COCs do not cause you to become infertile, and actually, some of its protective benefits (preventing pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, and ectopic pregnancy) can actually preserve fertility. There’s also no proof that fertility is delayed after the pill is stopped. But, SuzyKnew! often reports on natural methods and fertility-based awareness methods for women who want to use non-hormonal contraception.
These common contraception myths could be potentially harmful if you’re not correctly protecting yourself. This is particularly true for men and women worldwide, especially in places where contraception is a taboo – but can you spot the truths from the lies? Test your knowledge with charity Plan UK’s Quiz on some of the contraception myths circulating the world today.