Did you know India accounts for over one-seventh of unintended pregnancies globally each year?—This striking statistic emphasizes the importance of improving access to family planning, contraception, and reproductive healthcare.
According to the 2022 State of World Population report, almost 25% of women in countries with available data cannot refuse sexual activity imposed by their male partners.
Additionally, around 25% of women cannot make decisions regarding their healthcare, and nearly 10% cannot decide about contraception.
It’s quite astonishing that a significant number of people around the world, particularly women, remain unaware of the fundamental contraception techniques.
Thus, it is crucial to spread awareness and guarantee that everyone has the information they need to make informed choices regarding their reproductive health.
In this article, we will dispel some common misconceptions about contraception and provide accurate information about the different methods available. We’ll also discuss the importance of using contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
5 Most Common Misconceptions About Contraception
Misconception 1: Contraception is only for women.
It is often thought that contraception is solely for women and only used to prevent pregnancy. However, it’s essential to note that various contraception options are available today for both men and women. Additionally, some methods can also aid in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
Misconception 2: Contraception is 100% foolproof.
Yes, when used correctly, most methods of contraception are 100% effective at preventing pregnancy. However, it’s important to remember that no method of contraception is 100% effective.
Factors such as incorrect use, inconsistent use, or interactions with medications can affect the effectiveness of contraception.
Therefore, it’s always recommended to utilize a secondary form of protection, like condoms, if you are uncertain about your fertility.
Misconception 3: Contraception causes weight gain and hormonal imbalances.
This is one of the most prevalent misconceptions surrounding contraceptive pills. Many people believe that using contraception, especially hormonal methods like birth control pills can lead to weight gain and hormonal imbalances.
However, scientific evidence has consistently debunked this myth. While some individuals may experience slight weight fluctuations, it is not directly caused by contraception.
Hormonal imbalances are also rare and usually temporary as the body adjusts to the contraceptive method.
Misconception 4: Contraception leads to infertility.
There is a common fear that using contraception can have long-term effects on fertility, making it difficult to conceive when desired.
However, extensive research and medical opinions contradict this misconception. Contraception does not cause infertility.
In fact, most contraceptive methods are reversible, and fertility typically returns to normal shortly after discontinuing their use.
It’s important to understand that contraception helps prevent unintended pregnancies and does not impact future fertility.
Misconception 5: Birth control pills are the only effective contraceptive method.
While birth control pills are widely known and used, they are not the only effective contraceptive option available. There is a diverse range of contraception methods, including condoms, intrauterine devices (IUDs), implants, patches, and injections.
Each method has its own effectiveness rate, benefits, and considerations. Therefore, exploring different options and finding the one that suits your lifestyle, preferences, and health needs is essential.
5 Types of Commonly Used Contraception
When it comes to contraception, everyone’s situation is unique. As a result, what works for one person may not work for another. But the good news is that there are plenty of options out there to choose from.
Let’s explore some common methods that can assist you in making informed decisions about your reproductive health.
1. Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are a popular option that contains synthetic hormones to prevent ovulation. It is one of the most effective methods of contraception, but it can also have some side effects in some women, such as weight gain, nausea, and mood swings.
Also, it’s essential to take them consistently and simultaneously each day. However, they do not protect against STIs during intercourse.
Condoms are a barrier contraception method that not only prevents pregnancy but also provides protection against STIs during intercourse.
Condoms are available for both males and females. They work as a physical barrier, preventing sperm from reaching the egg. They are affordable, effective, easily accessible, and have no significant side health-related effects.
It is essential to use condoms correctly and consistently to ensure their effectiveness.
3. Intrauterine Device (IUD)
An IUD is a small, T-shaped device inserted into the uterus by a healthcare professional. There are two types: hormonal and non-hormonal. Hormonal IUDs release progestin, which thickens cervical mucus and inhibits sperm movement.
Non-hormonal IUDs are made of copper, which creates an environment toxic to sperm. IUDs are highly effective, long-lasting (lasting up to 3 – 10 years, depending on the type), and reversible.
4. Diaphragms and Cervical Caps
Did you know that when placed correctly, both partners cannot feel the cervical cap during sex?—It’s an effective and discreet form of contraception that many women find helpful.
Diaphragms and Cervical Caps also come under barrier methods of contraception, which are inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix and block sperm from entering the uterus. They require proper sizing, fitting, and use of spermicide for effectiveness.
These methods also offer the great advantage of being reusable multiple times within a time frame.
Implants are small, flexible rods placed under the skin of the upper arm. They release a steady dose of progestin, preventing ovulation and thinning the uterine lining.
Implants are highly effective, lasting up to three years, and can be removed anytime. They are a convenient option for those who prefer long-term contraception without needing daily attention.
These are just a few examples to consider. Today, there are several other contraceptive methods available for you to explore, such as contraceptive patches, injectable contraceptives, vaginal rings, fertility awareness methods, and sterilization procedures like tubal ligation and vasectomy.
Importance of Contraception
Using contraception is crucial for various reasons. It can prevent unplanned pregnancy, which can greatly affect an individual’s life.
Unplanned pregnancies can lead to financial hardship, stress, and emotional problems. They can also increase the risk of maternal and infant health problems if the mother is too young or unfit for pregnancy.
In addition to preventing unplanned pregnancy, contraception can help prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Sexually transmitted diseases can cause various health problems, including infertility, pelvic inflammation, intimate fungal infection, and even death from diseases like AIDS.
Hence, being prepared and safe is always better than being sorry later.
The Final Takeaway
Dispelling misconceptions is paramount for making informed decisions about reproductive health. By separating fact from fiction, we confidently empower ourselves to navigate the vast landscape of contraception. When armed with accurate information, we can choose the method that aligns with our preferences, needs, and goals.
Also, consult with healthcare professionals to get personalized advice and guidance on choosing the most suitable contraceptive method based on your unique situation, medical history, lifestyle, and individual preferences.
Let us collectively challenge societal beliefs, break free from misguided notions, and foster a culture of informed decision-making.
Remember, your reproductive health matters, and accurate information is your ally. So take charge, make informed decisions, and embrace the freedom to live life on your terms without any regrets.