Myths With Birth Control And Contraception

birth-controlWhen deciding to be sexually active, most women take the cautionary step to protect themselves against unplanned pregnancies. Others, however, might think that they cannot get pregnant because of other factors that are not a form of contraceptives. There are many myths when it comes to using contraception the correct way, and to prevent unplanned pregnancies.

Probably one of the biggest myths when it comes to protecting yourself against unplanned pregnancies is that you will not get pregnant because it is your first time having sex. According to www.pamf.org, whether or not it is your first time having sex – you will always have the same 1 in 20 chance of getting pregnant. This myth also leads me to believe that it is one of the biggest reasons why teenage pregnancies happen so often, to three out of ten teenage girls under the age of twenty. Any sexually active female that ovulates has a chance of getting pregnant, no matter how many times you have had sex prior to having unprotected sex.

Another misconception when it comes to birth control is that the position in which you engaged in sexual intercourse has influence over whether or not you will end up pregnant. The truth in this is that no matter how you are positioned, you can still get pregnant. Many women think that since they are on top, or they had sex standing up, they cannot get pregnant because gravity takes over and does not allow the sperm to enter their cervical canal. Gravity has nothing to do with pregnancy, though. Once the sperm is deposited into your cervical canal and there are literally 20 million to 150 million sperm – according to NIH.gov – in each ejaculation, even douching or taking a shower or bath afterwards will not keep them from swimming their way to your eggs. It only takes one live sperm to get pregnant, and since they can live inside of your cervical canal for three to five days, chances are even if gravity did prevent pregnancy, there is no way you will stay standing or upright for six whole days.

Condoms prevent unplanned pregnancies, and are the only form of birth control that protect against sexually transmitted diseases as well. A common myth pertaining to condoms is that they all contain latex. If you have a latex allergy, this can be a huge reason you do not run to condoms when you have sexual intercourse. While most condoms are made of latex, there are some out there for the latex intolerant, made of polyurethane that will prevent any type of allergic reaction. Another thing I hear about is “double wrapping”. This is when two condoms are used at the same time. Ultimately the goal is double the protection, but this actually has the opposite effect of only using one. Two condoms can create friction between them and lead to tearing, which can lead to pregnancy. So, while you might want some extra protection – using more than one condom at a time is not a smart choice.

Spermicide is a form of contraceptive that, when used correctly, can help greatly decrease your chances of ending up pregnant. They block the cervix so sperm have a lesser chance of getting to your egg to be fertilized. According to Planned Parenthood, 15 out of 100 women who use spermicide correctly wind up pregnant yearly. Using this alone is not a hugely effective form of birth control, so using a female condom or male condom will help a great deal.

The easiest to obtain form of birth control available by prescription is the birth control pill. This pill, when used correctly, is 91% effective in preventing unplanned pregnancies (source: CDC.gov) When most women start the pill though, they think that the effects happen immediately. This is extremely false. Depending on the type of birth control pill you were prescribed by your doctor the pill can be effective in preventing unplanned pregnancies in as little as seven days. Your doctor should let you know when you are able to safely have unprotected sex, but keep in mind that the pill will not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases or infections.

Whether you are sexually active or plan to become sexually active, it is important that you know all the facts when it comes to using common birth control methods. Talking to your doctor about ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies at your next check up can be extremely beneficial and a learning experience for you. Using just one type of birth control can lower your chances of getting pregnant greatly, but when used in conjunction with a condom, you can also protect yourself against infections.

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About This Blogger

Samantha Andrus

Samantha Andrus is an avid writer for many women’s health topics. She feels strongly about nutrition, health, reproduction and fertility due to her background in pre-medical, nursing and midwifery classes in the past. With a strong understanding of what women need to stay healthy, and produce healthy, happy babies or just to take care of themselves; she is putting the pen to the paper to give that information.