Common Contraception Myths

Contraception is very commonly used in the UK with around three quarters of women between the ages of 16 and 49 using at least one form according to studies by FPA. Unfortunately, myths about contraception are just as common. Many people struggle to understand the contraceptives they use and false facts and rumours too often form the basis of general knowledge. In the interest of correct representation though, the team over at121doc have put together a quick fact sheet of contraception myths that you shouldn’t be hanging on to.

Emergency contraceptives have to be taken the morning after…
The time in which you can take emergency contraception varies depending on the medication that you’re taking. Of the two emergency contraceptives available on prescription in the UK, one can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex and the other can be taken up to three days after. Largely born from the idea of the ‘morning-after pill’, this myth is one that you can ignore – you don’t have to immediately go out and get the contraception, although it is better that you take it as soon as you can. Verdict – False

If your partner withdraws before ejaculation you won’t get pregnant…

The withdrawal method is popular because it allows people to have sex without using artificial contraception – indeed, many people actively use it as an alternative to condoms and contraceptive medications. The problem is though that this method of contraception allows a large amount of risk. Firstly, it is important to remember that there may be pre-ejaculate that causes pregnancy despite withdrawal, and secondly it’s worth bearing in mind that sometimes a man will not withdraw in time. For those reasons, the withdrawal method is amongst the least effective, or least guaranteed, choices of preventative measure. Verdict – False

The emergency contraceptive pill can only be taken three times over a woman’s lifetime…

This is a common myth that simply has nothing in it. The emergency contraceptive pill is not recommended for frequent use as it can lose effectiveness, but it’s not going to add risk if you use it more than three times in your life. Don’t be afraid of returning to the doctor or pharmacy if you have been prescribed the treatment before, there really is no added danger. It’s difficult to say where this myth comes from, but we’re sure that’s it’s caused a lot of unnecessary worry. Don’t believe it, and make sure that you do go and get the help that you need, whenever you need it. Verdict – False

You can’t get pregnant if you have sex during your period… 

A lot of women believe that they can only get pregnant for a few days each month, and they believe they can’t get pregnant during that period. Two things mean that this is wrong – firstly, a lot of women have irregular menstrual cycles and so knowing when ovulation has taken place is very difficult; secondly, sperm can actually live in the body for up to 7 days, so even if you feel like you’re safe at the time, it doesn’t mean that the risk of pregnancy will be completely eliminated. Knowing the risks and understanding that there is always potential for pregnancy is the best way to ensure that you don’t fall foul of this false myth. Verdict – False


The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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