Common Contraception Myths
We have all heard about different ways to prevent pregnancy from friends, family and the local “aunty” down the street. Every culture across the world has their own traditional methods of pregnancy prevention. We take a look at some of the common myths.
The contraceptive pills makes you fat
Multiple studies have shown that there is no difference in weight gain compared to women on the pill and those who are not taking it.
The contraceptive pill causes cancer
Women on the pill have a 50% reduction in the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer. There is a very small increase in the risk of breast cancer but this risk goes down to normal levels when the pill is stopped
You don’t need to be on any contraception if you are breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is only a reliable mode of contraception in the first 6 months after delivery if it is exclusive breastfeeding and no return of periods. Breastfeeding does reduce a woman’s fertility but unless these requirements are met, there is a significant risk of getting pregnant. If you do not fit this criteria, then another method of contraception is advised.
Taking the contraceptive pill or any hormonal contraception will make it harder to get pregnant in the future
All hormonal contraceptives have temporary effects on fertility. Fertility will return with cessation of the contraception, the timing depending on the type of hormonal contraception used. There are no long term effects on fertility.
Accidentally get pregnant while on hormonal contraception (including the pill) will cause birth defects to the baby
There is good evidence that shows hormonal contraceptives (including the pill) does not cause birth defects.
Contraception promotes promiscuity
The use of contraception is unrelated to sexual behaviour.
Fertility declines after the age of 40. Therefore, there's no need for contraception
It is true that fertility declines with increasing age but a woman can get pregnant until menopause. Pregnancy at an advancesd age has a higher risk for both mother and baby. Thus contraception is needed until menopause if not keen on pregnancy.
Women using injectables or implants as their mode of contraception may not get their periods and this is bad for health
There are no hamrful effects of no periods with injectable and implant contraceptives.
Women need to wait a few months before trying to get pregnant after stopping hormonal contraceptives to allow the hormones to completely leave the body
If a woman becomes pregnant after stopping contraception this means that the effects of the contraceptive is gone and will not cause any abnormalities to the baby. The risk of miscarriage is also not related to the duration of stopping contraception.
The pill and hormonal contraceptives cause abortions
Hormonal contraceptives, including the pill, work by preventing ovulation (release of an egg from the ovary). They do not interrupt a pregnancy once a woman is pregnant.