We Debunk 8 Myths About Birth Control Methods This World Population Day
It’s high time we stop being sceptical of birth control. It’s not something dangerous, it’s not at all immoral, and it doesn’t make you impotent. It’s time we stop believing in stupid myths and plan our pregnancies wisely.
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Whether you’ve been on contraceptives or not, you would surely have heard a lot of rumours and stories about them. While many of them are simply baseless, a few have a grain of truth in them. To help you get a clearer picture, we’ve debunked most common myths related to birth control.
1. You need to take the pill at the same time every day or it’s ineffective
No, you don’t need to set an alarm for your birth-control pill. As long as you take the pill once a day, there won’t be a difference in its effectiveness. Moreover, even if you miss taking a pill, you can take two pills the next day, and it will remain effective. You need a backup birth control only if you miss more than one pill in a row.
However, if you're taking the progestin-only pill, then you need to take it at the same time every day to make sure it doesn’t lose its effectiveness. But since these pills are not super common, it’s safe to say that the effectiveness of birth-control pills doesn’t change just because you didn’t take them at the same time every day.
2. Birth-control pills make you gain weight
Hello, which era are you living in? Numerous scientific studies have proven that modern birth-control pills have nothing to do with weight gain. The newer formula of birth-control pill uses fewer hormones than the old versions which sometimes made people feel bloated.
While most of the time, weight gain has nothing to do with birth-control pills, it’s a well-known fact that everyone’s body is different and reacts differently to different products and chemicals. In case you feel your birth-control pill isn’t suiting you and is making you gain weight, you must consult your gynaecologist.
3. The pill causes abortions
Yes, some pills do cause an abortion but they’re called abortion pills. Their formulation is nowhere similar to that of birth-control pills. In fact, birth-control pills don’t even affect the foetus if taken by a pregnant woman. Yes, it’s been proven. Birth control pills have a zero effect on pregnancy.
4. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) can cause infection that mess with fertility
Well, back in the seventies, IUDs did cause pelvic inflammatory disease—an infection that can lead to infertility in some women. But today IUDs are made of different materials that are far safer than the materials that were used back in the 20th century. In fact, many scientific studies have shown that the new IUDs actually protect you from many infections rather than causing one.
5. Being on birth-control pills for a long time can make you infertile
No. Birth control doesn’t affect your fertility even if you take it for a lifetime. If you start to take birth control at the age of 20 and then take it for 20 years, you will have problems in conceiving not because you took the pill for 20 years but because fertility rates go low at the age 40. In fact, you can get pregnant within a couple of days after going off pills. Moreover, if you’ve been advised birth-control pills to tackle polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), going off them can bring symptoms such as irregular periods, which, of course, can lead to fertility problems.
6. You should really take a break from birth-control pills every once in a while
If you want to get pregnant then you definitely should. Apart from this, there is no medical reason to go off your pills if you’re in good health and are having no problems with it. If truth be told, going on and off pills every now and then can cause hormonal imbalances, which can lead to symptoms such as hair fall, irregular menstrual cycle, pimples, and even nausea.
7. The pills affect your mood
This is a confusing one. While hormonal birth-control pills are often prescribed as a treatment for women who have severe mood swings, a report says that certain hormonal pills may cause an increase in depression. So, if you’re suffering from depression or have a family history of mood disorders, consult a gynaecologist before opting for hormonal pills.
8. You can't get pregnant if you’re on birth control
No birth control method is 100 per cent effective. Even female sterilization, or getting your tubes tied, is more than 99 per cent effective. According to a data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnancy is possible no matter what type of birth-control method you use.
It’s high time we stop being sceptical of birth control. It’s not something dangerous, it’s not at all immoral, and it doesn’t make you impotent. It’s time we stop believing in stupid myths and plan our pregnancies wisely. While the Government of India doesn’t put a cap on the number of babies you can produce, as educated citizens, it’s our moral responsibility to understand the concept of family planning and adhere to it.