Top 10 myths about the birth control pill, debunked

“I finished taking the birth control tablet after two years as a result of it began to have an effect on my temper.”
“I am not taking the pill because it decreases the possibilities of getting pregnant afterwards.”
“I don’t want to take the pill because it causes weight gain.”

These are simply a few of the generally held beliefs about considered one of the hottest birth control strategies—however how true are they? As is usually the case with early intercourse schooling, a lot of the info we’ve about the contraceptive tablet is inaccurate or inadequate. While it is true that every girl’s expertise of taking the tablet is totally different, that is exactly why we must always not presume that a few of the so-called ‘facts’ are appropriate.

Vogue speaks to 2 specialists in the discipline, gynaecologists Dr José Terrón and Dr Sandra Ortega, to separate some widespread scientific truth from fiction.

The prime 10 myths about the contraceptive tablet, debunked

1. You want a relaxation interval when you’ve got been taking the tablet for a very long time

Thinking that the contraceptive tablet can have an effect on you negatively when you’ve been taking it for an extended time frame is considered one of the most generally held disbeliefs—so long as it has been working correctly from the outset, there is no such thing as a motive for that to vary. “One or 20 years in the past, the tablet had the next hormone dose, so the scarce secondary results may seem extra continuously,” says Terrón, “but that doesn’t mean they would nullify the ovarian function or the reproductive one. Ultimately, no rest period is needed; ovaries don’t get tired or irreversibly blocked.”

2. The tablet makes you hungry and causes weight acquire

Most of us have heard of individuals abruptly placing on weight after they begin taking the tablet, however Ortega refutes this hyperlink: “No analysis has confirmed the connection between the tablet and weight acquire—though it might trigger slight water retention throughout the first three months, as your physique adapts. There are drugs that, in distinction, trigger weight reduction attributable to their diuretic impact.” She additionally confirms that the tablet doesn’t make you hungrier.

three. The tablet causes numerous uncomfortable side effects

While uncomfortable side effects will range from individual to individual, Terrón says that a big share of girls who take the tablet don’t expertise any. “As with any medicine, in the info leaflet that comes with contraceptives we’re knowledgeable about the approximate frequency of secondary results. The most typical ones are temper swings, irritability or some recognizing between menstrual intervals throughout the first few months. What we see as gynaecologists in our medical follow is that, after prescribing a birth control tablet, roughly 80 or 90 per cent of girls are snug with it and don’t droop the remedy.”

four. The tablet might help to cut back pimples and stability hormones

Ortega confirms that the contraceptive tablet is often used to clear up pores and skin and stability hormones, though it ought to at all times be prescribed by an skilled. “During adolescence, severe acne can be relieved with oral contraceptives because they decrease testosterone. Many dermatologists suggest taking the pill to boost the effect of skin treatments by regulating hormone levels,” she says.

5. The tablet causes pores and skin spots

Sunscreen is important for everybody, however it’s much more essential when you’re taking the tablet. “For some patients, contraceptives boost melanin production in the skin, which means that they can become susceptible to melasma or pigmentation,” explains Ortega. “Darker patches can appear on the upper lip, forehead and cheeks, and can persist for several years after quitting birth control pills. So for those on the pill, SPF 15 at the very least is essential.”

6. The tablet can lower fertility, even after you’ve stopped taking it

Many ladies concern that their fertility can be compromised endlessly after they begin taking the tablet, hindering the risk of having the ability to have youngsters in the future. However, in keeping with Terrón: “Contraceptives work by stopping ovulation midway through the menstrual cycle and halting natural hormone secretion. The periods you have on the pill are artificial, since the ovary is in a blocked or idle state. But, no matter how long you take the pill for, your natural ovulation cycle should return when you stop taking it. The pill doesn’t stop or decrease reproductive capacity. If, after suspending the treatment a woman experiences difficulties getting pregnant, we have to look for other reasons, rather than attributing it to the pill.”

7. The tablet can enhance your capability to get pregnant after you cease taking it

As with the perception that the tablet can hinder fertility, the concept that it might increase reproductive capability can also be a fantasy. “This assertion is absolutely untrue. If that were the case, we would prescribe the contraceptive pill with the intention of facilitating pregnancy. It does not facilitate or impede it; it simply blocks hormone function and it is totally reversible after being suspended,” confirms Terrón.

eight. The tablet causes temper swings and irritability

We typically hyperlink oversensitivity to the tablet’s affect on our temper, and that is listed as considered one of its uncomfortable side effects. However, “it is very difficult to attribute mood swings and irritability to the contraceptive pill,” says Terrón, “because they are really subjective symptoms and can be attributed to many external factors.” Terrón refers to some research, “where participants taking the pill narrate subjectively whether they feel sadder, more cheerful or have the same mood as they had before taking it. But, are they actually considering external factors, which also affect our mood? Is it fair to lay all the blame on a hormonal treatment?” So, though we are able to’t fully rule it out, we can also’t confirm that taking the tablet does have an effect on the temper. “Ideally, the patient who wants an effective and lasting contraception would see for herself how comfortable she is with it. However it affects her, or not, is something very individual and multifactorial.”

9. The tablet causes most cancers

Ortega says that one other widespread fantasy, which she hears continuously in her follow, is that the tablet causes most cancers. In truth, it’s fairly the reverse. “For as long as the pill is being taken, the endometrium does not grow and the ovaries are at rest, which reduces the possibility of having an endometrium or ovary cancer,” she says.

10. Certain medicines cancel out the impact of the tablet

This is considered one of the few broadly held assumptions that’s true. “Rifampin and rifabutin (both antibiotics) stop the efficacy of contraceptives. Meanwhile, others reduce its effect, such as azithromycin, ampicillin, nitrofurantoin, amoxicillin, clarithromycin, metronidazole, ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, penicillin, tetracycline, cefazolin, levofloxacin, clindamycin, erythromycin, fosfomycin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole,” Ortega clarifies. If you take any of those medicines (examine along with your physician when you’re unsure)—or St John’s wort, which many gynaecologists additionally add to this checklist—“you must use barrier methods of contraception, until you’ve completed the course of medication, to avoid pregnancy,” she advises.

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