Despite modern Medicine and readily available resources through the internet and print media, there are still myths that are associated with contraception. Some of these tales and myths may seem really weird or even out of whack, but there is a need to address even the most common ones so that pregnancy can be prevented. Here are the answers to the some of the most common contraception myths:
1. You could not get pregnant during your period because you are most likely safe.
Unprotected sex during the beginning or even the latter part of your period can still get you pregnant. It has long been believed that a woman is most fertile a few days before and after the 14th day of her cycle. However, this principle is not considered accurate because cycle lengths vary. So for women with very short or irregular cycles, it is very possible that their fertile days will fall during the time of their menstrual periods, or even immediately after it ends. And since sperm can survive for up to 3 days inside a woman’s reproductive tract, pregnancy is still very much possible during the said timeframe.
2. Pre-ejaculation could not get you pregnant.
Experts don’t recommend the withdrawal method because it is not highly effective in preventing pregnancy. When a man is aroused, the penis secretes a small amount of fluid, which is called pre-ejaculation or what is commonly known as pre-cum. Although pre-ejaculatory fluid does not contain a high concentration of sperm as semen, the small concentration can still get you pregnant. For this very reason, healthcare providers don’t usually recommend the withdrawal method as an effective way of preventing pregnancy.
3. You could not get pregnant while breastfeeding.
While breastfeeding can make a woman less fertile, it does not in any way make her infertile. Experts believe that breastfeeding can in some way affect the hormones that trigger ovulation, which can also explain why irregular cycles are expected after birth. But a woman can become fertile again at any time after three months of breastfeeding. However, it’s hard to predict the exact time of ovulation and without any form of protection, pregnancy can occur. Doctors usually recommend a low-dose pill or a mini-pill that doesn’t contain estrogen as a form of contraception for breastfeeding women. These pills are considered safe to take while lactating so talk to your doctor if you want to plan your next pregnancy.
4. You could not get pregnant because you only have sex on “safe” days.
There are complex mechanisms involved in a woman’s menstrual cycle and there has to be a balance of the necessary hormones so that ovulation can occur. But when factors such as hormonal changes, stress and even certain medications disrupt the mechanism, you may find it hard to identify the days of your ovulation. Hence, identifying your “safe” days through the length of your cycles is not a reliable way of contraception. And even if you master the skill of identifying ovulation symptoms, the method is still not that reliable thereby making pregnancy possible.
Contraception myths have been around long ago, and while others may be harmless, some of them may put you in considerable risk. So if there are things bothering you about your choice of contraception, never hesitate to discuss these with your doctor.