Since its creation in 1960, the birth control pill has transitioned from a curiosity to a vital component of maintaining good reproductive health for women across the world. Although public understanding of “The Pill” and how it can help women has increased significantly over the last few decades, many myths and misconceptions about birth control pills still exist. For instance, some women think there is only one kind of birth control pill and it may not be right for their needs, however this is far from the truth. The prevalence of misinformation can scare off women who could strongly benefit from taking oral contraception or even lead to misuse and unwanted pregnancy. With this in mind, our board-certified gynecologists have taken some time to debunk a few of the most common myths about birth control pills.
Myth #1: Birth Control Pills Will Make You Gain Weight
It’s common for women to ask if taking birth control pills will lead to weight gain. While it’s true that some women seem to gain weight while they are taking the pill, research has not shown any association between weight gain and birth control pills. Some women who take birth control pills with estrogen may experience mild bloating, but this is typically temporary. Some women who take progestin-based birth control pills may notice an increase in their appetite, but this can be counteracted with a healthy diet and exercise.
Myth #2: You Need to Take the Pill at the Same Time Every Day
This actually depends on which type of birth control pill you take. If you take the progestin-only birth control pill, it’s important to take it at the same time every day since its effectiveness begins to wear off after about 26 hours. However, if you take the combined pill (which contains progestin and estrogen), the timing is more flexible since combined birth control pills are able to effectively prevent ovulation. Regardless of the type of pill you are taking, we encourage you to take it at the same time every day as a means of forming a habit, so you don’t miss a day. Taking the pill the same time every day can also prevent break through bleeding. Try taking it when you brush your teeth in the morning.
Myth #3: Contraception is the Only Reason to Take Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills can provide several additional health benefits for women in addition to preventing unwanted pregnancy. Taking the pill can help make the menstrual cycle more predictable. Birth control pills can also effectively lower a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer and help manage pain and minimize the effects of endometriosis. The pill can help improve acne and moods related to PMS.
Education and knowledge are essential parts of reproductive health and wellness for women. If you have additional questions or concerns about birth control, it’s important to ask them during your next appointment with your board-certified gynecologist in order to determine the most appropriate form of contraception for your personal needs. For more information on birth control or to request an appointment with board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould or physician assistant Nikki McCann, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for additional reproductive health tips, news, and more.