There are many unfounded Myths about Contraception around the World, and these myths may prevent some people from utilizing the best birth control method.
Numerous birth control methods, such as tablets, intrauterine devices (IUDs), condoms, and other barrier devices, are available to those who want to prevent conception.

This article dispels Myths about Contraception around the World and examines their facts.

Different methods of contraception

Different methods of contraception

1. Myth: The only treatment options are hormonal ones

The word “birth control” is frequently misunderstood as hormonal contraception methods such as birth control tablets, patches, implants, or intrauterine hormonal devices (IUD).
Hormonal contraception is only one of the choices out there. However, there are many others. People can choose from a wide range of alternative ways because they prefer not to use or are required to avoid hormonal procedures.
Other birth control strategies can be just as successful as hormonal techniques, if not more even.
For instance, the 99 percent effective copper intrauterine device (IUD) is more effective than the pill because it has no hormones.
Breastfeeding may be a contraceptive method that is even more effective than some hormonal methods. Breastfeeding mothers may pick this birth control strategy over hormonal ones right after giving birth.

2. Myth: Contraception leads to cancer

The idea that birth control pills cause cancer is another prevalent myth. It is true that birth control may modestly increase the risk of several cancers, including breast and cervical cancer. However, a 2010 study discovered that there is a slight rise in breast cancer incidences among female users of oral contraceptives but the overall danger remained minimal.
Although, with triphasic tablets, which deliver three separate hormone doses over a woman’s cycle, accounted for most of the risk increase.
Other kinds of medicines might carry a reduced risk. The study was prospective. Therefore it was unable to account for all potential risk variables.

Hormonal birth control may actually reduce the incidence of breast and cervical cancers, even though research generally indicates a minor rise in these diseases.

3. Myth: Natural remedies are ineffective.

Some people think lifestyle-based birth control methods don’t work because they are more challenging for someone to use appropriately.
One naturally occurring method of birth control, when used properly, can be effective. That is fertility awareness. It entails a person closely tracking their body temperature, watching daily variations in their cervical mucus, and being aware of the precise day and time of their period.
Additionally, breastfeeding is a reliable method of birth control. The baby must be breastfed exclusively for the first six months while receiving little to no other food. It is the lactational amenorrhea strategy (LAM).
Any extended periods without breastfeeding will dramatically raise the likelihood of becoming pregnant.
Ovulation will restart if the infant consumes formula or other meals, and a period will follow.

Even the contentious withdrawal technique, which entails “drawing out” before ejaculation, is 78% successful when used consistently and correctly. However, a 22 percent risk of becoming pregnant (more than 1 in 5) is far too high for many people. The incorporation of additional methods may increase the effectiveness of this approach.
If their spouse does not withdraw in time and semen enters the vagina, people may want to store emergency contraception (such as the morning after pill) at home.
After having sex, emergency contraceptive tablets continue to work for up to 5 days.

Myth: Contraception can shield against STIs

Barrier techniques, like condoms, can lower the risk of spreading various sexually transmitted infections (STIs). There is no safe way to engage in sexual activity with someone you know has an STI, and these approaches do not entirely prevent diseases.
For instance, Herpes may thrive in vaginal regions that condoms do not cover.

Any birth control method that does not put a physical barrier between people’s bodies cannot prevent STIs.
STIs can still be transmitted during sex even with hormonal birth control, permanent sterilization, fertility awareness, IUDs, and other measures.

4. Myth: Certain types of Hormones cause Abortion

Contraceptives, particularly hormonal birth control, have been scrutinized by some anti-abortion organizations.
Birth contraception does not cause abortions. All hormonal birth control techniques prevent ovulation, which inhibits implantation. Implantation is the initial pregnancy phase and when inhibited it prevents the fertilized egg from sticking to the uterine walls, hence preventing pregnancy.

5. Myth: Birth control makes you fat

While many worries that hormonal contraceptives lead to weight gain, multiple studies have proven that birth control does not lead to weight gain or that the average user only puts on a few pounds.
Most women observe no appreciable change in body weight or composition after using oral contraceptives, according
to a 2014 study that included moderately overweight and obese participants.

Even in cases where there were minor weight gains, the average weight rise was still only 4.4 pounds.
The 2016 review focused solely on progestin-only medications, which provide a lower hormone dosage.

Those worried about weight gain might prefer to utilize low-dose remedies.

6. Myth: Contraception reduces fertility

After using hormonal birth control, such as IUDs, the pill, the patch, and the implant, a person’s menstrual cycle may not return to normal for a few months. However, there is no proof that hormonal contraceptives have a long-term impact on fertility.
A 2011 study evaluated pregnancy rates after using various hormonal birth control methods. In general, the rates of pregnancy among former users of birth control and those who had never used it were very similar.
Infertility is frequent, particularly as people get older. Between 12 and 13 percent of couples struggle to conceive. However, it is not true that birth control causes infertility.

7. Finally, the most common of Myths about Contraception around the World: Older individuals do not require contraception

Some people assume they are infertile because they are older or have irregular periods. Pregnancy is still possible until a person has reached menopause and gone 12 months without getting a period.
Men can still be fertile far into their 60s, 70s, and beyond, even though male fertility is also reduced with age.
However, as a man ages, his risks of congenital disorders and other issues rise.

Summary on Myths about Contraception around the World

In order to find what’s convenient for them and has the least adverse effects, a woman may need to test a few different approaches to contraception or even use a combination of methods.
While there are potential risks associated with all drugs, including birth control, the vast majority of birth control safety myths are not supported by scientific evidence.
Anyone thinking about adopting a new birth control method is advised to inquire with a physician or other dependable healthcare provider about how to use it properly.

Authored by Afifa Maryam Siddiqui

Edited by Yara Fakhoury

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