Birth Control Myths

In the United States, sex education is widely inconsistent. Some people receive a comprehensive overview of sexual health, others are taught abstinence-only, and some receive no sex ed at all. Since most birth control methods are made for women, we should know what our options are and what that means for our bodies.

According to an article from TIME, the most common form of birth control used by women age 15 to 49 is sterilization (19%), followed by birth control pills (13%), long-acting reversible contraceptives such as IUDs (10%), and the male condom (9%). The pill is most common among women in their teens and twenties, LARC's and condoms are most popular among women in their twenties and thirties, and sterilization is most popular for women in their forties.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common birth control myths.

One myth is that hormonal birth control makes you gain weight.

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According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, no direct link has been found between weight gain and hormonal birth control. However, everyone’s body is different, so you should talk to your health care provider about any concerns you have. Many women swear that the pill made then gain weight, but you should take into consideration that many women start hormonal birth control during times when their body is going through lots of changes, like a shift in metabolism.

Another common myth is that you have to take the pill at the same time every day.

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If you’re taking a progestin-only pill, then you do have to take it at the same time every day, according to an article from Women’s Health. However, most people take a combination pill with both estrogen and progestin. If you’re on a combination pill, you don’t have to worry as much about the timing. It does help to have a routine though, so you don’t forget to take it. Also, some women have breakthrough bleeding if they’re taking their pill at different times each day.

Another myth is that you can’t get pregnant as long as you don’t have sex while ovulating.

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Some people use the rhythm method as birth control, but that’s not a safe bet. According to Cleveland Clinic, even if a woman’s cycle is usually regular, her ovulation can be disrupted by many factors, such as stress, age, and medication. You can also get pregnant at times when you’re not ovulating, therefore making this method even riskier.

With whichever contraceptive method you choose, you should always discuss it with your doctor to make sure you’re getting accurate information and to find the best method based on your body, health, and reproductive history.

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