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Debunking Common Myths about Contraceptives

Understanding birth control and how the various methods of contraception work can empower women and their partners to take control of their health and plan their family sizes. There are several options women can choose from to avoid and plan pregnancy, including pills, barrier methods such as condoms, natural methods including withdrawal and fertility awareness, intrauterine devices, and injectable contraceptives. However, some myths may preclude women from making informed choices about contraception. Let’s debunk a few of them.

Myth 1: Contraceptives are 100% Successful

http://heathstreethealth.nhs.uk/assets/admin/plugins/jquery-file-upload/server/php/ Some women believe that all contraceptive options prevent pregnancy 100 percent of the time. While several of these contraceptives are highly effective, none is 100 percent effective. The most preferred contraceptive options, which have the lowest failure rates, are the intrauterine devices, also called IUDs.

http://sageexplorer.com/2012/06/29/psych-up-your-leadership-inc-magazine/ Copper IUDs have about 99% effectiveness, closely followed by surgical procedures, such as tubal ligation and vasectomy, which have comparable success rates. Injectable contraceptives such as Depo Provera have success rates of about 94%, while hormonal patches, vaginal rings, and vaginal diaphragms have 88-91% success rates.

Myth 2: Birth Control Pills Can Damage Fertility

Uitenhage Although women report a return of their regular menstrual cycle months after discontinuing hormonal contraceptives, there is no evidence that birth control pills have any long-term impact on fertility.

Most hormonal contraceptives work by disrupting the menstrual cycle to prevent the release of eggs, a process called ovulation. However, after discontinuing these pills, injectable, or implants, the menstrual cycle slowly returns to normal, and ovulation resumes. Inability to get pregnant after stopping contraception may suggest another cause.

Myth 3: Contraceptives Prevent STIs

Contraceptives are thought to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but there is no evidence to prove the latter. While barrier methods, such as condoms, may lower the risk of some STIs, they cannot prevent all STIs. For instance, herpes or human papilloma virus (HPV) may live on areas of the genitals that are not covered by barrier contraceptives and could be transmitted during sexual intercourse.

Further, hormonal contraceptives, including pills and implants, do not prevent the transmission of genital infections during intercourse. Likewise, natural methods of contraception, such as the withdrawal method and breastfeeding-induced contraception, do not in any way lower your risk of genital infections.

Myth 4: Older Women Don’t Need Contraceptives

As long as a woman still has regular menstrual cycles and ovulates, she’ll need contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. Until a woman has reached menopause and has had at least 12 consecutive months without a period, pregnancy is still possible. Although fertility generally declines with age for both men and women, chances of getting pregnant are still higher without contraceptives.

Myth 5: Emergency Pills are Abortion Pills

Some women believe that using emergency contraceptive pills, also known as morning-after pills, is the same as having an abortion. Emergency contraceptive pills are high-dose birth control pills that prevent pregnancy after a person has unprotected sexual intercourse.

Emergency contraceptive pills do not eliminate a pregnancy, they prevent it. These pills work by delaying ovulation and fertilization, and they become useless if these processes have already taken place.

Lindlar Knowing the facts about contraceptives is crucial to making informed decisions about birth control and avoiding unnecessary health complications.