MYTHS AND FACTS ON CONTRACEPTIVES
Contraception is the intentional prevention of conception through the use of various devices, sexual practices, chemicals, drugs, or surgical procedures. Effective contraception allows a physical relationship without fear of unwanted pregnancy and ensures freedom to have children when desired.
The following are some common myths regarding sex and contraception.
- I’m breastfeeding so I can’t get pregnant.
Facts: The only reason why a woman can’t get pregnant within the six months after she has given birth while breastfeeding is if she hasn’t seen her period and if her baby is on only exclusive breastfeeding. All these criteria must be met for breastfeeding to be an effective form of contraception. Ovulation can occur even when a woman is breastfeeding. Breastfeeding mothers should use birth control if they wish to avoid pregnancy if they don’t want to abstain for the main time.
- You can’t get pregnant if the woman doesn’t have an orgasm.
Facts: Orgasm is the peak of sexual arousal when all the muscles that were tightened during sexual arousal relax. A guy’s orgasm is usually accompanied by the release of the ejaculatory fluid, and about 10 percent of women also ejaculate during an orgasm.
For Pregnancy to occur fertilization must take place. The sperm of the man fertilizes an egg from the woman. While a man cant release sperm without ejaculating it is not necessary for the woman to have an orgasm to get pregnant. Woman of childbearing age menstruate monthly and releases an egg. This occurs whether or not the woman has sex or an orgasm.
- I won’t get pregnant if I douche after sex.
Facts: Douching is washing or cleaning out the inside of the vagina with water or other mixtures of fluids and it’s not an effective method of contraception. After ejaculation, the sperm enter the cervix and are out of reach of any douching solution. Also, douching is not recommended as it can disrupt the delicate bacterial balance of the vagina, causing irritation or infection.
- I don’t need contraception because we only have sex during the “safe” time. You’re only fertile one day a month.
Facts: While a woman’s cycle is more or less regular at most times, this balance of hormones can be disrupted by various factors, including age, stress, and medicines. Therefore, deciding the time of ovulation that is “safe” can be difficult.
- I won’t get pregnant if we have sex standing up or if the woman is on top.
Facts: Positions during sex have nothing to do with whether or not fertilization occurs. When ejaculation takes place the sperm are deposited well into the vagina. The sperm will, by nature, begin to move up through the cervical canal immediately after ejaculation.
- You can use plastic wrap or a balloon if you don’t have a condom.
Facts: Condoms are a barrier method of contraception. They are made of very thin latex (rubber), polyurethane or polyisoprene and are designed to prevent pregnancy by stopping sperm from meeting an egg and they are very effective whereas plastic wrap and balloons are not good to use as condoms. They don’t fit well and can get torn easily during sexual intercourse.
- I won’t get pregnant if my partner pulls out before he ejaculates.
Facts: Pulling out before the man ejaculates, known as coitus interruptus (withdrawal), is not an effective method of contraception. Fluid might be released during ejaculation before the man reaches orgasm. Not all men are able to withdraw in time.
- I won’t get pregnant because this is my first time having sex.
Facts: The number of times an individual has had sex doesn’t matter. A woman can get pregnant any time ovulation occurs, even if you’ve never had sex before.
- I won’t get pregnant if I take a shower or bath right after sex, or if I urinate right after sex.
Facts: Washing or urinating after sex will not prevent pregnancy. Ejaculation has already taken place and washing will not stop semen and sperm that have already entered the uterus through the cervix.
- The pill is effective immediately after you begin taking it.
Facts: In most women, at least one week is needed for the hormones in the pill (oral contraceptive) to work with the woman’s natural hormones to prevent ovulation and for it to be effective, the pill must be taken as directed.