And even if you have first experience with the pill, it can be hard to separate the truth from the nonsense. Here are the top misunderstandings, myths in Myanmar we’ve heard about the birth control pill.
Myth 1: Birth control pills make you gain weight.
Study shows that on a population level, taking modern birth control pills does NOT cause weight gain. Anyone who tells you that weight gain always happens as a “side effect” of birth control pills definitely isn’t up to date!
So if all this research doesn’t back it up, then why does this rumor stick around? Part of the reason might be because the old formulas in the very first birth control pills had much higher levels of hormones than the modern versions and sometimes made people feel bloated. Another reason might be that we humans naturally tend to gain weight as we get older, averaging about 1-2 pounds every year as we age.
That being said, while research shows that women taking the pill don’t gain any more weight on average than women not on the pill, everybody is different. You know your body better than anyone, so don’t put up with a birth control method you feel is affecting you in a negative way! Talk to your provider about your other birth control options.
Myth 2: The pill causes cancer.
This one definitely wins for the scariest rumor about the pill. It’s terrifying for people trying to choose birth control to think they have to choose between avoiding pregnancy and protecting their long-term health. Luckily, this rumor is also totally false. Not only does the pill NOT causes cancer, using the pill actually decreases the risk of certain types of cancer. Taking birth control pills doesn’t cause breast cancer or brain cancer, and your chances of developing ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and colon cancer are actually lower if you’ve taken the pill in the past. Click here to read article about hormonal birth control and cancer.
Myth 3: The pill makes you infertile.
This one’s not just wrong, it’s dangerous—sometimes people hear this myth and think there’s some sort of “grace period” when they can’t get pregnant even though they stopped taking their pills.
The truth is that decades of research have shown that birth control pills don’t affect fertility. Unless you’re using some other type of birth control, your baby-making system is going to come back almost immediately after stopping the pill. Even for patients taking birth control pills continuously (without a break for periods), their periods come back an average of only 32 days after stopping the pill.
Myth 4: The pill causes abortions.
Sometimes in the constant debate in this country over abortion and birth control, patients can get the impression that birth control pills can cause abortions if taken by a pregnant woman. Some people are taking emergency contraceptive pill to remove the pregnancy.
Not only do birth control pills NOT cause abortion, they don’t even affect a developing fetus if taken by a pregnant woman. A pregnancy that’s already established won’t be harmed or aborted by taking the pill. That is, once an egg is fertilized and implanted in the uterus, birth control pills have zero effect on the pregnancy.