Today, though women have better resources at hand and their knowledge about the working of birth control pills have increased significantly, many pill myths continue to exist and spread wings especially in the online world.
Not understanding how birth control pills work can lead to misusing it, thereby causing unwanted pregnancies. Here, in today’s post, you can educate yourself and make the right choice when it comes to contraceptives by finally understanding the truth behind the urban birth control pill misconceptions.
Myth #1: Long-term use of Birth Control Pills can Harm the Uterus
The truth is totally opposite to this statement. Birth control pills protect the uterus by preventing uterine abnormalities. To figure out the reason for this, you first need to understand the working of these pills. Birth control pills suppress ovulation, which in turn contain the production of estrogen. When estrogen production reaches a high, it causes an abnormal build-up on the uterine lining causing endometrial hyperplasia.
Women who use birth control pills regularly and for a longer period lower their chances of contracting uterine cancer, ovarian cancer or hyperplasia.
Myth #2: Prolonged use of Birth Control Pills lead to Infertility
This is a baseless myth. As soon as a woman stops taking the pills, she is restored to her baseline fertility. A couple of days after she quits the pills and their effects are flushed out of the bloodstream, her natural hormonal cycle resumes.
The reason for this myth is that many women start taking the pill as soon as they become sexually active and long before they’re ready to conceive a child. The result – they don’t know what their baseline fertility is.
As a result, when they have a hard time conceiving after stopping the pills, they blame it on the oral contraceptives and not the underlying fertility issue.
Myth #3: The Emergency Morning After Pill is 100% Effective
As the name states, the morning after pill is an oral birth control pill that is taken for emergencies. It delays the release of an egg from your ovary. Meaning, when there is no egg for the sperm, fertilisation doesn’t occur and you don’t get pregnant.
However, with that said, it is NOT 100% effective. It only delays ovulation. But if you have already ovulated, then the emergency contraception will never work. While it can be used for emergencies, it is not ideal for regular birth control.
Myth #4: All Birth Control Pills Irrespective of the Brand do the Same Thing
Wrong! There are several types of oral contraceptives. While choosing birth control pills, you have to pick one that suits your sexual activity levels, lifestyle, medical history and several other factors. Make sure to consult your gynaecologist to find the right one for you.
Generally speaking, birth control pills can be divided into two main types – combination pill and the mini pill. Combination pills have two synthetic hormones – estrogen and progestin, whereas the mini-pill has only progestin. Both these pills have varying benefits and suit different types of needs.
Myth #5: Oral Contraceptives make you Fat and Moody
There’s no scientific evidence to support this myth. In fact, some women shed off a few kilos as soon as they start taking the pill, while others gain weight. Usually, the resulting weight gain is not because of the pill but due to lack of exercise and improper diet. Some birth control pills may make you feel bloated due to the fluid retention.
If you’re worried about gaining weight, then consult with your ob-gyn to find the right oral contraceptives that work for you. He/She would be able to suggest the best brand that will not pile on those extra kilos.
Banish the Pill-o-phobia
Birth Control pills are one of the best miracles of modern science. It helps women be in charge of their reproductive health. So, put an end to all your misconceptions about the pill and visit your GP or ob-gyn for further information and advice.