Myths and Facts about Oral Contraceptive Pills

Myths and Facts about Oral Contraceptive Pills

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Birth control pills also known as oral contraceptive pills are one of the methods used by women for contraception. These pills consist of hormones – Estrogen and Progestin, which control the function of ovary by preventing formation of an egg. There are many types of oral contraceptive pills available in the market but it is advisable to take them after a consultation with the doctor, as different types may suit different women. There are many myths associated with oral contraceptive bills. Check out the following myths and facts about oral contraceptive pills.

Myth 1: You gain weight when you take birth control pills

Fact: The most common worry in women taking OCP’s is regarding weight gain .They feel that taking pills create hormonal disbalance in the body leading to weight gain. But this is actually not the case. Each woman responds differently after taking pills and in most cases, will not gain weight only because of the pill.

Myth 2: When you take contraceptives, fertility is affected

Fact: Some women believe that when contraceptives pills are taken for a long time, it becomes difficult to become pregnant when you stop taking the pill. But the fact is that there might be a slight delay in the return of your fertility, but there is no permanent harm.. Once ovulation resumes, you can become pregnant. Most women will begin to ovulate in the first three to six months after stopping the pills.

Myth 3: It is good to take a break from the birth control pills once in a while

Fact: This is not medically valid. There is no harm in taking the pills for a prolonged period but yes you should be under medical supervision. You should not stop taking the pills until you want to plan pregnancy. Taking a break for 4-5 days doesn’t make much difference but yes pregnancy is possible.

Myth 4: Breast cancer is caused by birth control pills

Fact: Because breast cancer is related to hormones, many women feel a major side effect of using birth control pills is an increased risk of breast cancer. Well, this can be considered true to a certain extent. According to recent studies by the American Cancer Society, women who are using birth control pills have a slightly greater risk of breast cancer than women who have never used them.

But then it is also found that this risk only exists while the pill is being taken. The risk is not seen in women who stopped using the Pill more than 10 years back.

Myth 5: Safety and Birth defects

Fact- Some women believe that taking birth control pills can lead to birth defects. This is completely untrue, rather it is seen that even if you take one or two pills by mistake when you are pregnant, it does not lead to birth defects in the baby.

Myth 6: Birth control methods also protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Fact -Birth control pills do not prevent against STD’s. The only forms of birth control that protect against STDs are barrier methods such as condoms.

Myth 7: There are chances of being pregnant if you have sex during your periods

Fact: This is completely untrue. Rather, during your periods, it is most unlikely for you to get pregnant as the ovulation does not happen at that time.

Myth 8: Withdrawal method can prevent pregnancy

Fact: Withdrawal method means that your partner does not ejaculate inside the vagina. It can be used as a means of contraception but the efficacy is only 75%, meaning one in four women may become pregnant if they have opted for this method.

Myth 9: Washing the vagina after intercourse prevents pregnancy

Fact: Women believe that sperms can be flushed out after intercourse by washing called Douching. But this is not true. Douching does not prevent pregnancy or infection.

Myth 10: Breastfeeding prevents pregnancy

Fact: This is untrue.  Breastfeeding can stop ovulation for a while, but there is no guaranteed proof that it can be an effective birth control method. Rather, it is very common for you to get pregnant during this time because of erratic periods.

AUTHOR

Dr. Amita Shah

All stories by: Dr. Amita Shah
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