Contraception -- also known as birth control -- includes a variety of ways to prevent pregnancy. But it’s important to use birth control correctly, as well as to choose the right method for you.
Not all birth control methods are created equal, and there are a lot of myths out there that people believe. It’s important to know the facts about birth control before you choose one. To help you in this endeavor, our OB/GYN, Dr. Alan Patterson, has pulled together some myths and facts about birth control.
The birth control pill has a 99.7% success rate when used correctly, meaning that fewer than 1 out of 100 women will experience an unexpected pregnancy. This makes it one of the most effective birth control methods available.
However, that success rate depends on perfect use, which includes taking your pill at the same time every day and not forgetting any days. With typical use, the effectiveness rate is only about 91 percent, meaning that 9 out of 100 women would get pregnant.
If you don’t know if you’ll be able to take a pill every day, you might find a different birth control method to be a better fit.
Birth control pills don’t affect your future fertility. Once you stop taking the pill, using an IUD, implant, patch, or vaginal ring, you can get pregnant again. Sometimes, it might take a couple of months for your cycle to return to normal, especially if you had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) before taking the pill.
If you took the birth control shot, it may take a bit longer, up to 10 months, for your hormones to return to normal.
Most birth control methods do not protect you against STDs. Only condoms provide protection. For STD prevention, we recommend using male or female condoms and getting regular STD testing if you have multiple sexual partners, or your partners do.
Avoiding STDs is a very important part of protecting your future fertility, as many untreated STDs can affect your ability to get pregnant.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs), are safe and effective methods of birth control. There are both hormonal and nonhormonal varieties, so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you. An IUD is a small device shaped like a T that’s inserted into your uterus during an office visit, but you shouldn’t be able to feel it.
It used to be true that women were only eligible to get an IUD after they had kids because their cervixes changed. But today’s IUDs are smaller, and any woman can get one.
The major advantage of IUDs is that they’re effective for 3-12 years, depending on the type. Another major advantage is that many insurance plans cover IUDs.
For most women, the birth control pill does not cancer. In fact, it has been associated with a lower risk of certain types of cancer, including ovarian and endometrial cancer.
However, it does carry a slightly increased risk of breast cancer, which may be of concern if you have a family history of breast cancer. If you have a higher risk of breast cancer and/or are over age 40, you should use an alternate method.
If you have questions about the right birth control method for you, or you want to change your birth control method, contact our office in Coral Springs, Florida, to book a visit with Dr. Patterson, or request an appointment online.
Patients may not be accompanied by other people at their appointments.