Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.Full Bio
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Although the birth control pill was approved back in 1960 and is both widely studied and used by millions of women, misinformation still surrounds it. It can be tough to know what's true and what's not. How to know the difference between fact or hype? Read on for some birth control myth busters.
1. Since I'm using the Pill, I don't have to worry about STDs.
The Pill does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases,1 including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS; you must always use a condom along with the Pill to protect against STDs.1
2. You can't get pregnant right after going off the Pill.
You can stop your birth control pills if you wish to become pregnant.2 Schedule a visit with your HCP for a pre-pregnancy checkup before you stop.3
3. I don't have to follow a strict schedule; it's no big deal if I miss a dose.
To be most effective in helping prevent pregnancy, the Pill needs to be taken every single day at the same time each day.4
4. If I skip or forget to take my pill, I'm still protected.
You will need a backup form of birth control (such as a condom and spermicide).4 Just missing one day increases your chances of becoming pregnant.5 If you have any questions about what to do if you miss a pill, reach out to your HCP.
5. I'm protected against pregnancy from the moment I take my first dose.
Depending on which pill you're taking and when you start taking it, it may be recommended to use an additional form of contraception (like a condom and spermicide) for at least 7 days after you start taking the Pill. If you have any questions, speak with your HCP.6
6. There are oral birth control options available for men.
There is currently not an oral contraceptive for men available on the market, although research continues.7
7. All birth control pills contain the same hormones and dosages.
There are 2 main types of birth control pills: combination pills, which contain estrogen and progestin, and minipills, which contain progestin only. In addition, different combination pills have varying levels of hormones in them. Your HCP will be able to guide you in choosing which birth control option is right for you.6
8. I take supplements, but don't need to mention this to my HCP.
Along with certain medications, there are supplements that can interfere with the effectiveness of the Pill, like St. John's wort.8 It's important to be open and honest with your HCP about any supplements and medications you take.
This resource was created with support from Allergan.
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