Birth control pills, today, have come to offer many benefits than just keeping an unexpected pregnancy at bay. They help regulate hormonal imbalance, irregular periods, heavy menstrual flow, acne and so on. However, despite the fact that women have become more trustworthy of the pill, there is still a lot of stigma and misinformation surrounding it. This only does more harm than good and may stop someone from getting the help they need. Therefore, in this article, we’ll look at some of these myths and see if they hold any truth.
This may have been true fifty years ago when birth control pills contained a very high amount of oestrogen which led to an increase in appetite and fluid retention. However, in present day, there is no evidence that suggest birth control pills cause weight gain. Having said that, many birth control pills still contain oestrogen, which may cause mild bloating. But that’s about it.
No birth control pill has been proven to make anyone infertile, nor has it been shown to cause any complications in the female reproductive system. In fact, you get back to your normal menstrual cycle quickly once you stop being on the pill. So, birth control pills don’t affect your chances of pregnancy in any way. What does happen in many cases is that disorders like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) or an erratic menstrual cycle, which you had prior to starting on the pill return after you stop. It is said that within three months to one year, you could get pregnant after stopping the pill.
If you’re taking a combination pill i.e. a pill comprising of progestin and oestrogen, it’s completely alright if you accidentally miss taking a pill for an entire day or are a few hours later than your usual time. You can simply take that extra pill the next day, and you’ll be just fine.
On the contrary, pills that contain only progestin has be to taken at the same time every day, since it helps build a wall of mucous which prevents the sperm from entering. This mucous wall starts thinning within three hours, thus increasing your likelihood of . However, if you’re not on progestin-only pills, then you don’t need to worry about taking birth control pills at the same time day after day.
This is in fact the opposite of what the truth is. Most pills help you get acne under control, as opposed to what the myth suggests. Birth control pills reduce the amount of testosterone in your body and bring your acne under control. However, it is important to note that these pills are only a temporary solution for acne, and they will return once you stop taking the pills.
There might be a complete opposite case where you might have heard so much about the effectiveness of the pills that you might conclude that this is the only birth control option available easily. Birth control pills are only about 92 percent effective, under some circumstances. While a birth control pill is the easiest and most convenient method to avoid pregnancy, there are multiple other methods available, such as IUD (intra-uterine devices) contraception via insertion of a Copper T in the uterus, patches where contraceptive hormones are delivered into the system through the skin, shots i.e. contraception via injecting artificial progesterone, the vaginal ring wherein a small plastic ring containing contraceptive hormones is inserted in the vagina, and so on.
Many women believe that you need to go off the pill every once in a while. And there is another rumour that regular usage causes cancer. Both are untrue. Going on and off the pill gives your body the side-effects that you face when you first started it, and facing them again and again is not good for your body.
As for the cancer part, a research by the Royal College of General Practitioners proved that as opposed to causing cancer, birth control pills actually lowered the risk of getting ovarian, uterine, and endometrial cancer. In fact, even after going off the pill, the resistance against cancer provided by the pill seems to remain for a considerable amount of time.
Birth control pills are meant to keep you off till you want it. It is a super-effective way of birth control, and has been well-researched and developed to not have any grave or harmful effects on the body. So, don’t fall prey to myths. If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to consult with your gynaecologist. Got something you’d want us to shed light on? Let us know in the comments!