There are a lot of common birth control and pregnancy myths. Understanding these is just one of the steps you can take to preventing unexpected pregnancy:
Myth #1: You can’t get pregnant while you’re on birth control.
The only form of birth control that is 100 percent effective is abstinence. While different birth control methods can help reduce the risk of pregnancy, it does not completely eliminate that risk.
Myth #2: You can’t get pregnant on your period.
It is possible to get pregnant while on your period. This is especially true for women whose cycles are shorter or whose periods are irregular, as they can ovulate while on their periods. Sperm can also live from 5 to 7 days within the body, so if ovulation occurs within a week of having unprotected sex, you could become pregnant.
Myth #3: The pull-out method is an effective form of birth control.
Once aroused, a guy will release pre-ejaculation fluid, which contains 300,000 sperm alone. It only takes one sperm to fertilize an egg. For those that utilize this method perfectly, 4 in 100 will still get pregnant – and, for those who use it incorrectly (which is much more common), there is a 27 percent chance of pregnancy every time you try it.
Myth #4: You can’t get pregnant if it’s your first time having sex.
You always have a chance of getting pregnant, whether it’s your first time having vaginal sex or not. It is also possible to get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) the first time you have sexual contact of any kind (oral, anal, or vaginal) and any time after that.
Myth #5: You can’t get pregnant if you have sex in water.
Anytime sperm contacts the vagina increases the chances of getting pregnant. In fact, if the water is at a proper temperature, sperm can actually survive outside the body in it for several minutes.
Myth #6: Using two condoms is better than one.
One of the most widely believed pregnancy and birth control myths, using two condoms instead of one may seem like an effective plan, but it’s not recommended by healthcare professionals. The friction of two condoms rubbing together can make it more likely for them to rip or tear, increasing your chance of pregnancy.
Understanding common pregnancy and birth control myths can help you protect yourself against unplanned pregnancy. If you have questions about pregnancy or think you might be pregnant, we’re here to help. Schedule an appointment with Palm Beach Women’s Clinic to get the support and information you need to make healthy choices for you.
Sutter Health Palo Alto Medical Foundation