World Contraception Day 2020: A doctor debunks five myths

World Contraception Day 2020: A doctor debunks five myths

When it comes to contraception, there may be a lot many doubts in the minds of people looking to use it for the first time. These doubts may emerge from the fact that most Indian schools lack sex education classes. As such, people either refer to and get misled by online information, or end up in a doctor’s office.

Dr Sonal Kumta, consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology, Fortis Hospital Mulund, says it is generally observed that many women avoid using contraceptives or discontinue use either due to misinformation, or because they are worried about the side effects. “It is important to dismiss misinformation to ensure that women may choose a suitable method of contraception, and continue to use it appropriately,” she says.

This World Contraception Day, the doctor debunks the five most-common contraception myths. Read on.

Myth 1 : Contraceptives cause cancer

Fact: Oral contraceptive pills actually reduce the risk of ovarian and endometrial (inner lining of the uterus) cancer, and hence are considered to be protective. Some association may exist between the pills and breast cancer. It would be best to consult your doctor for thorough guidance before beginning a pill.

Myth 2 : Condoms provide 100 percent protection from unwanted pregnancy

Fact: Condoms can give only 80 per cent protection, which means that 2 out of 10 couples using condoms can end up with a pregnancy. Same holds true for ‘safe period’ and ‘withdrawal method’. Condoms, however, do protect against Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

Myth 3 : If I take pills now, I may never get pregnant in the future

Fact: Oral contraceptive pills or combined oral contraceptives, are effective only when the woman is taking them regularly. As soon as she stops the pills, she can get pregnant.

Myth 4 : Weight gains because of the pills

Fact: There is no substantial weight gain due to taking contraceptive pills; a woman may put on weight for many other reasons. In fact, the pills can potentially reduce menstrual bleeding and menstrual cramps. They also improve complexion and reduce facial hair and acne. Importantly, the pills help to control Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis.

Myth 5 : Contraception is a woman’s problem

Fact: Just like how planning a pregnancy is a decision made jointly by a couple, contraception also requires couples to work as a team. The couple needs to figure out which method is most suitable for them; a gynaecologist can help them in this process.

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