5 Common birth control myths that can lead to pregnancy

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Though contraceptives like condoms and pills work, it's important to note that they're not 100% effective.

Planning a family is one of the most important and rewarding experiences for many couples. To do this, you two must come to a mutual decision about what manner or method of contraception best suits you. There are, however, certain pitfalls when arriving at this decision and this includes being sidetracked by widely believed birth control myths that can be confusing.

So to better inform your family planning, let's debunk some of the most common myths many Filipino couples believe, shall we? Here they are.

1. Contraceptives are foolproof

Though contraceptives like condoms and pills work, it's important to note that they're not 100% effective.

According to Philcare, different types of contraceptives vary in their level of effectiveness.

Perfect Use Typical Use
Condoms 98% 85%
Oral Contraceptives 99% 92%
Spermicide 92% 71%
CycleBeads/SDM 95% 98%
Diaphragm 94% 84%
No Method 15% 15%

2. You can't get pregnant on "safe days"

Though there are ways to estimate when your safe days are, there is no proven way to determine it because they don't actually exist. There are ways to know when you are ovulating and when you're most fertile, though. But to be super safe, just assume there are no safe days to have unprotected sex without the risk of pregnancy.

Generally, though, for those with regular cycles (about 28 days), 7 days before and after your period can be considered a "safe window." For irregular cycles, it proves to be more of a challenge as sperm can remain inside your body several days after intercourse. You can get pregnant even before your ovulation period.

3. Prolonged use of pills could make you infertile

While it's natural to assume that the prolonged use of any drug, including birth control pills, can result in side effects like infertility, this shouldn't be the case.

Even if certain types of pills change your hormone levels, there is no known basis for fears that it could hinder your ability to conceive in the future.

sex and calories

photo: dreamstime

4. Condoms decrease the pleasure of sex

Condoms are one of the most effective forms of contraception, so couples shouldn't discount it thinking it lessens sexual pleasure. In fact, there are new kinds of condoms and lubricants that can even heighten the sensation. The great thing about condoms, too, is that it doesn't affect your body's hormones.

According to Medical Daily, the wrong kind of lubricant can cause thinning of latex condoms, thereby resulting in breakage. Previous research also claims that water or silicone-based lubricants work best with latex.

5. Taking your pill at different times is fine

If you're on the pill, you need to take it at the same time every single day. While this helps prevent you from forgetting to take your pills, it also has a deeper, more important function. When it comes to progestin-only pills, for instance, taking it at the same time each day is vital because of its active ingredient, progestin, only remains in the body for about 24 hours. Thus, taking pills later than usual and then having sex increases your chances of getting pregnant, mainly because your body has had time to resume its naturally fertile state.

Have you always believed some of these myths? We hope this article was helpful to you in some way. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Also read: Doctor recommended strategies for getting pregnant

Published with permission from theAsianparent Philippines

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