8 Common Myths About Birth Control
Wetin day Shuga Naija fam? We’ve all heard some crazy rumours going around about birth control! Some are so wildly absurd that we shudder to think that people have actually taken them as gospel. But we’re here to bust these myths once and for all.
MYTH: Birth control will make me gain weight
It’s rare, but some women do gain a little bit of weight when they start taking birth control pills. It is often a temporary side effect due to fluid retention, not extra fat, and like other possible side effects of the pill, any weight gain is generally minimal and goes away within 2 to 3 months. If you happen to be one of those few women who put on pounds, talk to your doctor, they may suggest a different type of birth control pill. Why? Because all pills are not the same.
MYTH: Washing one’s vagina immediately after sex prevents pregnancy
Don’t be like Diana who enjoys spreading such crazy myths. Just for clarity, douching, or washing your vagina with water or other fluids, doesn’t work as contraception. Washing immediately after sex may give you a squeaky clean feeling, but it will not help prevent pregnancy. Sperm swim quickly! By the time you rinse or douche, many of them have already entered your uterus. In fact, douching can push more sperm upward and help to facilitate pregnancy rather than prevent it. It may also raise your risk of vaginal infections and sexually transmitted infections. It is important to use contraception to prevent pregnancy or emergency contraception in the event that sperm makes contact with the vagina.
MYTH: Contraception will affect my ability to have children in the future
Let’s just make this 100% clear, using contraception will NOT affect your fertility. You saw how Corper Yasmin’s mother in law worried about Mahmud and Yasmin’s ability to have children in episode one. Rumour has it that you spend all that time and energy trying to prevent pregnancy, only to find that it’s harder to get pregnant after you get off the Pill. The truth is while there may be a slight delay in the return of your fertility, no permanent harm will have been done — infertility is not a birth control side effect. Most women will begin to ovulate in the first three to six months after stopping the Pill.
MYTH: The implant hurts
A trained doctor or nurse will give you a local anaesthetic to numb the part of your arm where the implant will go, so it won’t hurt. It only takes a few minutes to put in and feels similar to having an injection. Your arm might be sore or bruised for a couple days. If the soreness persists after the first week of insertion, talk to your health care provider.
MYTH: You can only get IUDs if you’ve already had a kid
You may have heard that you can only get an IUD if you’ve already had a child. This used to be true, but not any longer. It’s sometimes easier to insert an IUD if you’ve already given birth, but it’s still safe and simple to place if you haven’t.
MYTH: The pill protects me from sexually transmitted infections
The pill does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs.) The only birth control methods available that protect against STIs are the male and/or female condom. It is important to use dual protection (condoms + another form of birth control) to prevent STIs and pregnancy every time.
MYTH: I don’t need birth control because my partner pulls out
The pull out method is only 78 percent reliable. Although this method may be popular, it doesn’t really work and is not an effective form of contraception. Over a year, 22 out of every 100 women using this as their birth control will become pregnant. There are plenty of other more reliable contraception methods out there!
MYTH: I’ve had unprotected sex and didn’t get pregnant, so I don’t need birth control
Having unprotected sex isn’t something to boast about. You’re opening yourself up to STDs and pregnancy. You might not have got pregnant the first time, but it just means you got lucky. Do you really want to keep testing your luck? Whether it’s a woman’s first time or hundredth time having sex: any time a man and woman have unprotected sex, she can get pregnant.
Listen, there are a lot of myths out there, some are so convincing that you might think it’s okay to slip up every now and again. Don’t play yourself! Arm yourselves with knowledge so that you can make informed decisions about your sex life.