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Busting 5 Myths About Birth Control

Everyone has an opinion on birth control. From your family and friends to posts on the internet, it’s easy to become misinformed. Fortunately, our experts can clear up the contraceptive confusion. At Bluebonnet OB/GYN, Dr. Patricia Brougher and our team specialize in educating you on birth control so you can make the right decision.

Birth control basics

Birth control is an effective way to prevent pregnancy, and there are several different forms of birth control that can fit into your lifestyle. The most common form is the pill. You take a small pill every day at the same time and it releases hormones to stunt your body’s ability to become pregnant. 

If taking a daily pill doesn’t sound like the right option for you, we offer other methods. You can wear a patch that releases hormones into your bloodstream. You wear it for three weeks and take it off during the fourth to allow your period to occur naturally. 

Similar to the patch is the NuvaRing®. The NuvaRing is a ring you insert into your vagina. It stays there for three weeks and you remove it during the fourth. This ring releases a steady, low dosage of hormones stopping your body from becoming pregnant. 

There are also IUDs or intrauterine devices that are made from copper and inserted into your uterus. They can stay there for three to 10 years while working to prevent pregnancy. Another insertable form of birth control is Nexplanon®. It goes under the skin of your inner, upper arm and delivers pregnancy preventing hormones for up to three years. 

Before you decide which method is right for you, it’s best to be completely informed. There are lots of myths surrounding birth control and its impact on your body. Here are five of the most common:

Myth #1: Birth control reduces your fertility

Are you ready to start a family? You might be concerned about your body’s ability to become pregnant after trying to prevent it for a long period of time. While it can take a few months for your menstrual cycle to become normal again, there’s no long term effect on your cycle or ability to become pregnant.

One study examined women who used birth control for seven years. 21.1% conceived within the first month of discontinuing birth control and 79.4% conceived within the first year. In general, women who were using contraceptives had similar odds of becoming pregnant to women who didn’t use any form of birth control. 

Myth #2: You can develop blood clots or a stroke

Birth control comes with some risk, but it’s not true of every woman who uses it. You’re much more likely to develop complications like blood clots and stroke if you use birth control coupled with other risk factors like:

It’s important you tell Dr. Brougher your full medical history so she can better advise you.

Myth #3: Birth control makes you gain weight

It’s a common misconception that using birth control makes you gain weight. However, most women don’t gain any weight, and if they do, it’s only a few pounds. If you’re worried about weight gain of any kind, talk to Dr. Brogugher about low-dose birth control. This kind of birth control has proven to have little to no effect on weight. 

Myth #4: You won’t get an STI if you use birth control 

There’s no guaranteed way to prevent contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Using a condom is a great way to prevent getting an STI, but even they aren’t perfect. Birth control is only effective in preventing pregnancy. It doesn’t create a barrier between you and your partner, so you’re still at risk. Dr. Brougher can provide more information about how to protect yourself against STIs. 

Myth #5: Birth control is only for preventing pregnancy

Of course, birth control is most popular for controlling births, but there are many other health benefits. Any hormonal form of the contraceptive can be effective in addressing health concerns including:

Dr. Brougher also recommends using birth control to treat symptoms and side effects of polycystic ovarian syndrome and pelvic inflammatory disease. 

Don’t let the world tell you what it thinks about birth control. Take our expert advice instead. If you’re interested in learning more about your option or simply want more information, contact our office to schedule an appointment online.

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