9 Contraception Myths You Probably Believe That Are Completely Untrue

Babies are great, but right now you want fun and freedom more than you want a tot in toe, so you need contraception, right? But with all the info floating about, it's not so simple.

Like us, you probably got your first bits of info about contraception from your besties, but according to a recent survey by Bayer Healthcare nearly 58 percent of Irish women admit to sharing info on sex or contraception without knowing if it was accurate. Damn. Add to that, over a third want more information about their contraceptive options, and it’s fair to say we’re a tad ill-informed.

So, in the name of making sure you know what’s what when it comes to birth control, here’s the real deal on some of the most common rumours, exaggerations and full-blown lies when it comes to contraception.

1. You can’t get pregnant if you don’t orgasm

Tut tut, this is certainly untrue. Let’s be honest, not all sexual shenanigans will make us climax, however we are still at risk of pregnancy with or without the O-factor. Women usually release an egg each month as part of their menstrual cycle, regardless of an orgasm. Soz, now you know!

2. You won’t get pregnant if your partner pulls out before he ejaculates

Ahhh the so-called withdrawal method. Bottom line is having a partner pull out before he comes is NOT a method of contraception and leaves us ladies at risk of pregnancy. This is because it’s still possible for a sexually excited man to release fluid from his penis even without having an orgasm. Odd, we know, but this is known as pre-ejaculation fluid, as it has sperm in it, it can lead to the pitter patter of tiny feet. Also, bear in mind that your man may not have the will power to be able to withdraw in time. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

3. Doing it standing up

We still hear this one a lot. Sperm are very strong swimmers, and gravity alone is not going to stop them reaching and trying to fertilise an egg. Without contraception, you may get pregnant regardless if you are doing it standing up or standing on your head. Enough said.

4. First time

Sigh, this little myth is still out there and leading to a lot of unplanned babies. If an egg meets sperm then it’s possible to get pregnant, whether it’s the first, tenth or thousandth time you’ve had sex.

5. Contraception makes you fat

Another myth is this: women taking the pill will gain weight. Lies. There is no research that shows the pill or most other types of contraception to be associated with weight gain.

6. You need to take a regular break from the pill

There’s no need to take a break from the pill because the hormones don’t build up. We think this myth is still knocking around because back in the day women were advised to take a break from contraception, if it was not needed. But there are no known health benefits from taking a break. Reality: The only reason to take a vacation from your contraceptives is if you’re hoping to get pregnant.

7. You can’t get pregnant during your period

Yawn. This one has been out there in the universe for donkeys years. Listen up, this is a myth for two reasons: many women have irregular menstrual cycles so it can be very hard to know for sure when ovulation is happening. Also sperm can actually live in the body for up to seven days so they can be hanging around ready and waiting to fertilise an egg. Good to know, eh?

8. Long-term use can cause infertility

This is completely untrue. Once women stop using contraception their periods and fertility will return to normal.

9. Contraceptives protect against STIs

This is a big fat NO. The only contraceptive that offers such protection is a condom, so, er, don’t be silly and wrap that willy.

By Jennifer Conway.