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Birth control is an important practice, especially for those who enjoy an active sexual life. However, most people are somewhat ignorant when it comes to having adequate knowledge about the various aspects of birth control including the different methodologies available, correct usage and dosage, so on and so forth. In fact, there are several misconceptions relating to birth control that most people believe because they have no reliable source to tell them otherwise. Therefore, here is a list of birth control myths which, if you were unaware are false, will come as a surprise but a necessary educative experience, so read on!

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Birth control makes you gain weight.

“I don’t want to gain weight” is an annoying and, in the end, a false rationale for avoiding the use of oral contraceptives. Now different people react differently to different medications. While birth control pills do affect a woman’s hormones, it can cause temporary reactions like acne, weight gain, and even weight loss in some. But the weight gain is, in most cases, temporary fluid retention, and that too in insignificant amounts. Nonetheless, if you are really concerned about weight gain, talk with your MD about the possibility of taking another brand of birth control pills. And remember: condom use is not related with weight gain in any manner.

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Birth control for a prolonged period of time makes it difficult to conceive once you are off it.

The corollary to this misconception is that women aren’t able to conceive for a short period of time after they discontinue the birth control course – but again, they can very much get pregnant even after missing one pill. Take notice of the fact that, in any way, birth control pills won’t make you infertile. It’ll just take some time for your body to come back to its old, fertile normal self once you stop taking pills. In fact, it is definitely possible for you to get pregnant the very next month once you stop taking birth control pills.

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Birth control is not needed when you are breastfeeding.

Tell this to the mothers who have one kid in second grade… and other one in first. While breastfeeding can definitely delay ovulation, there is always a chance of getting pregnant, nonetheless. If you will have unprotected sex while breastfeeding, then this formula might not work and you will most likely run into a risk of getting popped! So, if you aren’t in any rush to make Baby No. 2, make sure you talk to your doctor about playing it safe, when breastfeeding.

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Birth control can protect you against STDs.

The only thing that birth control pills prevent you is from an unwanted pregnancy, and nothing else. There is no way in which birth control will protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. There are a lot of sexually transmitted diseases and infections that a person can contract on getting involved with an infected partner – like Human Papillomavirus (HPV), herpes, HIV, and genital warts. Only a condom is known to prevent any STD that you may be exposed to. So, it is always wise to wear a condom, in addition to taking birth control pills for preventing STD.

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Your body needs a break from birth control.

“Birth control isn’t an addiction in any form.” You can take birth control pills for as long as three months or ten years. It doesn’t make any difference. Your body doesn’t need a ‘vacation’ as long as you are healthy and there is no medical reason. And don’t forget, in case you have decided to give yourself a break from birth control, and you’re sexually active, the chances of becoming pregnant are the highest. In case you are still doubtful about the long-term effects of taking pills, talk to your doctor. There is no harm in reassessing your birth control choices in a few years anyway.

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Birth control can put you at a greater risk of breast cancer.

The pill is generally accused of causing numerous illnesses, but the scariest that has ever been heard about is cancer. The truth is though: research has proved over and over again that birth control pill doesn’t increase the cancer risk, and it definitely doesn’t cause cancer. The reality is however twisted. A lot of studies have actually shown that birth control pills have quite an opposite reaction over your body. It helps reduce the risk of cancer in some women. A 33% reduction in risk of uterine cancer has been proved for pill users. All those who still get concerned about breast cancer risk should talk to their doctors about progestin-only birth control contraceptives.

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Douching after sex can prevent pregnancy.

Douching refers to cleaning out vagina with water and soap after having unprotected sex. For long, there has been a common belief amongst women that douching can help them prevent from an unwanted pregnancy. There is no truth to this very belief as douching won’t plunge out sperms that may have entered your vagina. Sperms are fast swimmers and before you even start douching, they may have done their job. On the other hand, douching does make you more susceptible to vaginal infections. ‘Doing the dew’ is most likely going to make you pregnant.

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You must not use birth control to skip your periods.

It’s natural for women to bleed every month, but in reality, if you haven’t ovulated, there is no need for periods either. So, you can delay your monthly cycle by using birth control pills and it is completely healthy. These pills mimic a natural period cycle. While not all doctors consider birth control pills to be the best measure for delaying menstrual cycle, but it is definitely one of the effective options.

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Sex during periods won’t get you pregnant.

Another common myth that most couples swear by is having unprotected sex during periods. Well, the truth is, you can get pregnant even when you are on your periods. Though the possibility is not high, but there are chances in case your periods are irregular. In a lot of cases, women are quite fertile during the middle of their menstrual cycle and in that period; it is possible for them to become pregnant.

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Emergency contraception is an abortion pill.

Emergency contraception cannot terminate an existing pregnancy. Also called the morning after pill, it is meant to impede fertilization. Birth control pill cannot be taken as a Plan B as it won’t result in spontaneous abortion. The contraceptive pill only works when used within 72 hours. After that period, it won’t work.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.