Debunking Birth Control Myths
When it comes to birth control, there are many myths out there. Some myths are harmless, while others can lead to real consequences (such as an unintended pregnancy). People may even avoid certain birth control methods, which can prevent someone from choosing the best method for themselves.
Myth #1: Hormonal methods are the only option
When referring to birth control, many people think of the pill, the implant, or IUDs. However, hormonal birth control is just one option among many. Some people chose not to use or must avoid hormonal methods. Other methods of birth control can be just as equally effective as hormonal options. For example, the cooper IUD (ParaGuard) contains no hormones and is 99% effective. Another option is natural methods. Common belief is that natural methods don’t work, but can be effective if a person does it correctly. To learn more about birth control options check out: Barrier Methods, LARCs, Hormonal Methods, and Non-Hormonal Methods.
Myth #2: You shouldn’t get an IUD unless you already had children
The reason for this misconception is that some forms of the IUD (like Mirena and ParaGuard) are generally recommended for women with children. This is because your cervix and uterus are slightly larger after giving birth, which should make insertion and use more comfortable. However, newer IUDs, like Skyla, are slightly smaller and delivers a lower dose of hormones, making it perfect for anyone.
Myth #3: Hormonal birth control causes abortions
Birth control does not cause abortions. This is because all forms of hormonal birth control work by preventing ovulation. There are two ways hormonal birth control can prevent ovulation: thickening the cervical mucus to stop sperm from reaching an egg or stopping an egg releasing. When ovulation is prevented, fertilization of the egg by the sperm cannot happen. Implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus is the start of pregnancy.
Myth #4: Birth control causes infertility
Birth control should not affect your fertility long-term. Once you stop taking birth control, you can ovulate right away and become pregnant shortly after. However, it can take some people a few months to begin regularly ovulating again after stopping hormonal birth control. Birth control does not cause a person to become infertile by permanently preventing ovulation.
Myth #5: The morning-after pill is like an abortion
Emergency contraceptive pills, also known as the morning-after pill or Plan B, are high dose birth control pills that prevent pregnancy after a person has had sex without using birth control or a condom breaks. Taking the morning-after pill is not the same as having an abortion. It stops the egg from releasing and fertilizing. Which as a result, prevents ovulation. Emergency contraception does not and cannot cause an abortion. It does not end a pregnancy but prevents it from occurring in the first place.
Myth #6: It’s unhealthy to use birth control to skip your period
Certain hormonal methods (such as the pill, patch, and ring) can be used to skip your period. It is totally safe to go for months or even years without having a period while on certain hormonal method. Just be prepared for some breakthrough bleeding. There are even possible additional benefits to skipping your period, such as fewer headaches, bloating, and menstrual pain. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information if you are interested in skipping your period.
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