Birth control is an essential tool in family planning, helping individuals and couples take control of their health and future. There are several birth control methods, and a women’s healthcare provider can help you choose the best option for your health and needs. But if you’ve never taken birth control before, you might have some questions or concerns. Here are the facts behind four common myths.
4 Birth Control Myths Debunked
1. Birth Control Makes You Gain Weight
Many people are apprehensive about taking hormonal birth control, but research indicates the average patient does not gain weight at all or gains a few pounds at most. If you are concerned about weight gain, consider asking your women’s healthcare provider about progestin-only pills, as these tend to carry the least risk of any weight gain. Hormonal methods may make you retain fluid differently, but this does not affect your appetite or constitution. The only exception is Depo-Provera, a shot that has been linked to weight gain in about 25% of users.
2. It Decreases Fertility
Taking hormonal birth control does not impact fertility long-term. It is true that once you stop taking hormonal contraceptives, it may take a few months for your menstrual cycle to resume as normal. But, while infertility is common, affecting 12-13% of couples, birth control is not a factor. It is possible to get pregnant immediately after you stop taking the pill or removing the patch, IUD, or implant.
3. It Prevents STIs
Hormonal birth control methods do not reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms, however, can reduce the risk of transmitting STDs and STIs while also reducing the risk of an unplanned pregnancy. There is no safe way to have sex with someone who has an active STI or STD.
Some infections, like herpes, can live on parts of the body not protected by condoms. It is essential to discuss your sexual health with your partner before being active and get tested regularly. Your women’s healthcare provider can advise you about vaccines, like the HPV vaccine, to reduce your risk of getting certain illnesses. They can also provide treatment if you have an infection or disease.
4. Pills Only Prevent Pregnancy
Hormonal birth control methods like the pill are primarily associated with family planning and pregnancy prevention. But this isn’t all they’re suitable for. Many women who are not sexually active benefit from birth control . A women’s healthcare provider may prescribe hormonal birth control to help women manage irregular, heavy, or painful periods, reduce hormonal acne, and prevent bone thinning, cysts in breasts and ovaries, certain cancers, and other issues.
If you’re interested in learning more about the potential benefits of birth control, turn to the caring and experienced women’s health professionals at Oswego County OB-GYN, PC. Located in Fulton, NY, this full-service clinic offers comprehensive gynecology and obstetrics care, including infertility assistance, pregnancy planning, breast exams, and birth control. Call (315) 343-2590 to speak with a friendly staff member to schedule an appointment. Or visit the website to learn more about how they can help you.