Part of being an adult these days is planning a family. For many of us, that means using some form of birth control until we’re ready to have children (or after, if we’re done!). But it seems like there is a new myth or bit of misinformation about birth control methods in the news every day.
And hey, we’re probably also talking about birth control with our sons and daughters, right?
Because there are many reasons to use it – skin health, uterine health, regular periods – that have nothing to do with preventing pregnancy.
So let’s talk about these 7 common myths in an attempt to get them to die fiery deaths!
#7. Birth control is 100% effective
There is no form of birth control that is infallible – not even sterilization. This is a good reminder for your children when you’re having the talk, because no matter how careful you are, if you’re having sex, you can get pregnant. So you’ve got to be ready for that potential outcome.
#6. IUDs cause abortions
False. IUDs work by preventing an egg from getting fertilized before implantation. The sperm is basically rendered ineffective by the device, so even if they make it to your egg, they won’t be able to fertilize it.
An unfertilized egg is not a fetus by any definition of the word.
#5. The morning after pill always works
You don’t want to rely on emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy. They work by delaying ovulation, so if you’re at a point in your cycle where you’ve already ovulated, Plan B isn’t going to work.
#4. The morning after pill causes an abortion
Like we just said, all it does is delay ovulation. If you’ve already ovulated and/or had your egg fertilized, the pill won’t affect anything at all.
#3. You have to take the pill at the same time every day for it to be effective
This myth has been around for a long time, but it only applies to a “mini-pill”, or the progestin-only pill. The effectiveness of that pill wears off after 26 hours. But if you take the combined pill (hint: most of us do), then taking it exactly every 24 hours doesn’t make much (if any) difference.
#2. Birth control will mess with your fertility
I’m not sure if this myth is around because it may take some women time to get pregnant after stopping the pill, but medically, birth control methods do not influence fertility.
#1. Missing periods because of birth control is unhealthy
Some people think that using birth control to skip your period on purpose, or using a method that causes your period to cease, isn’t healthy or natural. Some doctors think the truth is actually the opposite, because the more often cells regenerate, the higher the risk of abnormalities occurring. So skipping periods could actually be better for the health of your uterine lining than having a regular one.