Birth control methods have proven to be highly effective in preventing pregnancy. Even though contraceptives have been on the market for decades, there are still many myths regarding birth control and how to prevent pregnancy.
1) Myth: I can’t get pregnant the first time I have sex.
A woman's chances for becoming pregnant are always about 1 out of 20, even if it’s her first time. Once she begins to ovulate, a female can get pregnant.
2) Myth: I'm breastfeeding so I can't get pregnant.
It’s true that breastfeeding may postpone ovulation, but it’s no guarantee that you are risk-free for pregnancy. Use backup birth control when breastfeeding.
3) Myth: The Pill is immediately effective once I start taking it.
Most women need to complete one menstrual cycle for the hormones in oral contraceptive to work with their natural hormones and prevent ovulation.
4) Myth: I must take the Pill at the same time every day.
False, unless you're taking the mini-pill (a progestin-only birth control pill). However most women take the regular birth control pill containing a combination of estrogen and progestin.
5) Myth: Douching, bathing and showering can prevent pregnancy.
Not true. It is impossible to douche fast enough to keep sperm away from fertilizing an egg. Furthermore, urinating, bathing or showering will not wash out sperm.
6) Myth: If I've been on the Pill for a long time it's more difficult to get pregnant.
Guess what? As soon as you stop taking birth control, it’s possible to become pregnant. This is true for all methods of hormonal contraceptives except for the Depo-Provera shot. With that, it can take six to nine months for all of the hormones in the shot to exit your body and restore fertility.
The bottom line is that if you haved used birth control for a long time, it will not mess with your long-term fertility goals.
7) Myth: I'm more protected if my partner wears a very tight condom.
A condom that fits too tightly is more likely to break during sex and that could lead to pregnancy.
8) Myth: I shouldn't get an IUD unless I've already had children.
Some IUDs are generally recommended for women with children because their cervix and uterus are slightly larger after giving birth. Typically that makes implantation and use of an IUD more comfortable.
However there is now a good choice for women who haven't had children. A newer IUD (Skyla) is slightly smaller and delivers a lower dose of hormones.
9) Myth: I can’t get pregnant if I don’t have an orgasm.
Orgasm has nothing to do with it. Pregnancy occurs when sperm fertilizes an egg. Women of childbearing age release an egg each month as part of their regular menstrual cycle. The egg can meet up with a sperm after sex, regardless of whether or not the woman had an orgasm.
"Birth Control Myths - on MedicineNet.com." MedicineNet. Web. 28 Dec. 2014.
"Contraception Myths." Cleveland Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Web. 28 Dec. 2014.
Gueren, Casey. "10 Birth Control Myths-Debunked!" Womenshealthmag.com. Web. 28 Dec. 2014.
Stacey M.Ed, LMHC, Dawn. "Common Birth Control Myths and Sex Myths." Contraception.about.com. About.com. Web. 28 Dec. 2014.
Reviewed December 30, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith