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.
Myth #1: The birth control pill is your only option.
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.
Myth #2: If you take the pill or use another hormonal method, you might have trouble getting pregnant later.
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.
Myth #3: All birth control methods protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
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.
Myth #4: IUDs are only appropriate for women who have given birth.
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.
Myth #5: The pill causes cancer.
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.
- We are still seeing obstetrics patients in our office to ensure that our pregnant patients are getting the prenatal care they need. If you are pregnant, please call us to book your appointment today. We are also seeing patients in our office for annual well-woman exams, as well as those who are having gynecological problems or emergencies.
- Here's what we're doing to ensure the safety of our patients who come into the office for their appointments. We are:
- Ensuring that patients are not experiencing respiratory issues when they visit our office.
- Sanitizing all services on a regular basis.
- Wearing masks and gloves to reduce the probability of virus transmission.
- Washing our hands for 20 seconds after every interaction we have, inside and outside of the office.
Patients may not be accompanied by other people at their appointments.
- We’re offering telemedicine appointments for the following conditions: yeast infections, UTIs, birth control consults, vaginitis (vaginal infections), hormone replacement therapy consults, premenopause, menopause, amenorrhea, and abnormal periods. Please call us to determine if your need for services qualifies for a telemedicine appointment.