Image of various birth control methods

11 most common contraception myths

By Steph Haase October 19, 06:00 am
Contraception myths are dangerous: If you believe in the wrong ones, you or your partner might end up pregnant even though you thought you did it right.
I can have unprotected sex during 'safe days'

Counting safe days is one of the most unreliable ways to prevent pregnancy, as menstrual cycles change constantly. So unless you have an extremely regular cycle, or use ovulation tests, you really can't know for sure when your safe days are.

You can use balloons or plastic wrap if you are out of condoms

Condoms may look like balloons, but balloons are not made to prevent pregnancies. They are made from different materials that can irritate the genitals and they are not made to fit over a penis properly. So if you are planning to have sex, you better stock up on the real thing!

Two condoms are better than one

Using two condoms (or a female and a male condom) increases the chance of the condoms slipping and sperm spilling. So using one condom correctly is actually a lot safer than using two at once!

The pill will make you frigid

The birth control pill does not cause infertility. There is also no indication that it will take a woman longer to get pregnant once she stops taking the pill, compared to women who have not used hormonal birth control methods previously.

The withdrawal method is really effective

In a perfect situation, it's not a bad method. But sex is very rarely perfect. Out of 100 women who use this method for a year, 27 will get pregnant. So unless you don't mind these odds, you might want to look into other methods.

Douching, showering or bathing after sex will prevent pregnancy

Big myth! After ejaculation, sperm quickly moves from the vagina to the cervix, and out of reach for douches, showers and baths. And, douching, as well as too much water and soap aren't good for your vagina. You might end up itchy and dry, or at more risk of infection.

Implants will affect your libido

There is no scientific evidence to back this claim. Just as with other hormonal birth control methods, some women say they have less desire, others have more, but the vast majority of women say that there is no change at all.

Injections cause harmful changes in menstruation

It's true that hormonal birth control methods, like the injections, can cause changes in periods. But these change are not harmful at all, and they certainly won't cause blood to pool inside a woman's body.

IUDs are only for women who already have children

Doctors used to recommend IUDs only for women who have given birth, as there is a slightly higher risk of expulsion (the IUD moving from the uterus towards the vagina) in younger women who haven't given birth yet. But the research isn't conclusive, and the pros of IUDs outweigh this risk by far.

You can't get pregnant if you are breastfeeding

It's true that breastfeeding can temporarily stop you from ovulating, but that's not a guarantee. So if you don't want to get pregnant again just yet, you should be using another method of birth control even if you are still breastfeeding.

Sterilisation affects your ability to have sex

Myth! Neither vasectomies nor female sterilisation will affect your performance in bed. But both are permanent birth control methods, and you won't be able to have children again if you go for one of these methods.

Have you heard of any more myths about contraception? Share them with us by leaving a comment below or starting a conversation via Facebook: Love Matters Naija and Love Matters Africa.

Did you learn something new?

Shame! You guys have no idea what you speak about. The whole essence of Hormonal Contraceptives is increament of hormones within the endocrine system targeting the ovulation process. The rate of progesterone, Estrogen and Estradiol increase is associated with worsening of some types of cancer like Ovarian and Endometrial cancers. No wonder when you speak that Contraceptives don't bring cancer, I feel I should clarify that indeed they have a role they play in increasing some cancer magnitude. Some cancer therapy treatment are Estrogen Suppresants which do away with effect that have been led by hormonal contraceptives. I know you know now

Hello Vincent, while we appreciate your contribution, this article has made no such claim. It is however important for one to discuss their options with their midwife or doctors, including risks associated with each method for them to make an informed choice. 

Ezekiel, very unlikely. Some women might have irritation, if that's the case, try to use a different kind of condom.
Hi Wesonga, use of condoms does not depend on penis size. Most condoms available are able to fit penises of different sizes. You should start using condoms when you and you partner talk about it and decide its what you want. Condoms protect you against STI's including HIV and pregnancy.

Hey there, e-pills have a high concentration of hormones and can cause considerable short-term side effects. That's why e-pills should be used only in case of emergency, and are not recommended as a normal method of birth control. There is no recommended number of times that one can use the e-pills but if you find that you keeping having to take the e-pill, it maybe important that one considers a birth control method considering that the Emergency Contraception pill should only be used for emergency cases only. 

There seem to be no long-term side-effects known for emergency-contraception pills. Check out the following article for additional information;-

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