10 Myths about Birth Control

Thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling over the Hobby Lobby vs. The Affordable Care Act case, there has been a lot of misinformation about birth control swirling around. To help set the record straight, here are ten common myths about birth control.

Myth: Emergency contraceptives such as Plan B and Ella cause abortions.

Emergency contraceptives (also known as the morning after pill) do not cause abortion. If taken within 5 days of having unprotected sex, emergency contraceptives can cut the risk of getting pregnant by 75%. The sooner it’s taken, the more effective it is. It prevents pregnancy by thickening the lining of the uterus and preventing any fertilized eggs by attaching to the uterus. Some emergency contraceptives stop ovulation as well.

Myth: Birth control encourages women to be promiscuous.

Sadly, there are some people out there who think women become sex fiends the moment they start using birth control. This isn’t the case. In fact, there isn’t any correlation between promiscuity and birth control.

Myth: The pill (and other hormonal methods) can make you fat.

This myth is hard to shake because some women do gain weight when using birth control. However, studies have concluded that most hormonal methods of birth control don’t cause weight gain. The only birth control method associated with weight gain is the Depo Provera shot. If you do find yourself gaining weight, try different types.

Myth: Birth control is solely about preventing pregnancy.

There is much more to birth control than preventing pregnancy. Some women use birth control to clear up acme, treat endometriosis, treat anemia, lessen cramps, and make menstruation more bearable.

Myth: Birth control pills can cause breast cancer.

There’s no conclusive evidence that birth control pills cause breast cancer. According to planned parenthood, the just a third of an increase in risk. However, smoking while on the pill can increase your chances of getting cancer and blood clots.

Myth: Birth control pills can protect you from STDs.

Nope. The only thing that can decrease your chances of STDs is condoms and abstinence.

The pill is effective immediately.

Some women need to complete one menstrual cycle before the hormones in the pill work with a woman’s natural hormones.

Myth: Birth control pills can cause infertility.

The effects of the pill are not permanent. As soon as you stop taking them, you run the risk of getting pregnant. The only exception to this rule is the Depo Provera shot. It can take 6 to 10 months to be get pregnant after stopping its use. Either way, the effects of birth control can be reversed quickly and easily.

Myth: You should give your body a break from birth control every now and then.

There is little to no scientific evidence to back up this argument. You don’t have to stop taking birth control for any period of time if you don’t want to unless you want to get pregnant. Again, the only exception to the rule is the Depo Provera shot. The FDA advises you only use it continuously for two years due to its greater risk of causing bone mineral loss.

There are way more myths out there when it comes to birth control, but these are just a few common ones you’ll see about oral contraceptives. Are there any missed? Share them in the comments below.

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