“If I douche with Coke, I won’t get pregnant.”
Some birth control myths seem silly. In reference to the one above, douching – with anything – will not kill sperm.
Still, many convincing contraception myths remain. Understanding the truth about birth control methods—such as an IUD or Implanon— can help you separate fact from fiction. As a result, you can take a more active role in your health care.
“Today, more medical information is available online, and unfortunately, not all of it is from reliable sources,” said Dr. Martinelli. “When these include birth control myths, it can affect your plans for having—or not having—a baby. This is why your local OBGYN remains your number one source of medical information. We encourage you to ask us questions, no matter how embarrassing they may seem.”
We’ll take a look at some of these common misconceptions and give you the truth.
6 Common Birth Control Myths
1. If I Don’t Have an Orgasm, I Can’t Get Pregnant
All that is required to get pregnant is that your partner’s sperm (pre-ejaculate and ejaculate) fertilizes an egg. Eggs are released as part of your regular menstrual cycle. Therefore, an egg is released whether you have an orgasm or not.
Your sexual health is important to us. If you’re having difficulty having an orgasm due to painful sex, vaginal dryness or other issues, please talk to us. We know satisfying sex is an important part of intimacy.
Don’t ever be embarrassed to ask questions.
2. I Can’t Get Pregnant When I’m Breastfeeding
This one needs a bit of a caveat. Just simply breastfeeding is not an effective form of birth control. Three things reduce the probability of conceiving while nursing.
First, you have to be within six months of delivery.
Second, you must have not had a menstrual cycle.
Third, your baby must only be feeding on breast milk without any soft food. (Cleveland Clinic)
But if you really don’t want to get pregnant, use a second form of contraception like condoms or the progesterone-only pill.
3. I Can’t Get Pregnant if I’m on Top or If We Have Sex Standing Up
The “logic” behind this method is that certain positions will cause sperm to slide out of the vagina.
However, after a man ejaculates, the sperm are not only deposited deep into the vagina but they also immediately start swimming through your cervix.
4. Pulling Out is An Effective Birth Control Method
This isn’t very effective contraception. Even if your partner is able to pull out before he ejaculates, some of it can be released before he climaxes.
If you’re looking for statistics, out of 100 women who use this method, as many as 28 will get pregnant.
This is significantly higher than the number of pregnancies that occur when on Implanon or having an IUD.
5. The Birth Control Pill Is Immediately Effective
We strongly encourage patients to use a back-up form of contraception during the first month of using the pill. This is particularly important if your period was irregular prior to starting the pill.
Of course, the pill only works if you take it consistently and as directed.
If you have questions about what method of birth control is right for you—such as an IUD, Implanon or others—please contact us.
6. I Can’t Get Pregnant if I Shower or Urinate After Sex
After intercourse, the sperm have already made their way through the cervix into the uterus.
If you have released an egg, then you can get pregnant—no matter how much showering do you after the fact.
What Type of Birth Control is Right for Me?
Deciding upon which type of birth control to use is a very personal decision. We’re here for you to provide information on all your options, and we’ll work with you to determine what would be the best choice.
Here are some things you should consider when selecting a method:
- How soon you want to get pregnant—a few years or never
- The success of each different method
- Any potential side effects
- Your comfort level of using this method
- Your overall health
It may be helpful to have some questions in mind before your next exam. We’ll be glad to answer them.
Some long-acting, reversible birth control methods can be a good option for many women. These include:
Implanon, Which Can Be Used for Up to 3 Years
Implanon is a small, plastic rod—it’s about the size of a matchstick—that is inserted under the skin of your upper arm. It releases hormones in order to prevent pregnancy. It’s effective for up to three years, but must be removed after three years.
Intrauterine Devices (IUD)
There are different types of IUDs that can be used for three to ten years before needing removal or replacement.
An IUD that releases progestin can be used for three to five years, while a copper IUD that releases copper into the uterus can be used for up to 10 years.
A hormonal IUD works by releasing progestin, and as a result, the mucus around the cervix thickens. This makes it much more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. In addition, progestin also thins the uterine lining.
In a copper IUD, the copper released makes it challenging for the sperm to move, which makes it difficult for them to fertilize an egg.
What Are the Benefits of an IUD?
The main benefit is that after it’s placed, you don’t have to do anything else. It doesn’t interfere with your daily activities, and it can even be used if you are breastfeeding. In some cases, over time, the hormonal IUDs may reduce menstrual pain.
If you wish to get pregnant, all you need to do is schedule an appointment to have it removed.
Permanent Birth Control Options
If you’re interested in permanent birth control let us know. We’ll evaluate your options and create a plan tailored for you. Some of these include a tubal ligation (getting your “tubes tied”) or encouraging your partner to have a vasectomy.
See Why We’re the Leading Provider of Choice for Triangle Women
For more than four decades, we’ve helped women in all stages of life on their health care journeys, whether that included having a baby, getting contraception or going through menopause.
We want you to know that we take time to get to know you in an environment that combines the best technological equipment with personalized attention. We would welcome the opportunity to care for you.
Contact us to schedule an appointment today.
For more than 40 years, Chapel Hill OBGYN has served women in the Triangle area, sharing the joy of little miracles and supporting them during challenges. Our board-certified physicians and certified nurse midwives bring together the personal experience and convenience of a private practice with the state-of-the-art resources found at larger organizations. To schedule an appointment, please contact us for more information.