Teens have a lot of questions when it comes to contraception, especially when you’re new to sex and trying to learn how to be safe. But there’s a lot of false information out there. How do you separate fact from fiction? We pulled together a few of the most common contraception myths that we hear so we can put a stop to the false information!
Yes, you CAN get pregnant the first time you have sex. and the second, and the third, and every time after that. As soon as boys and girls go through puberty, they are capable of conceiving. Don’t think the odds will save you!
Give your pill some time to get to know you! If you’ve just started using the pill, or any other form of hormonal contraception, it will not be effective the first time you take it. It may not even be effective for the first month you’re on it! Give it time to start working with your body. The way your body naturally runs is how it WANTS to run, so external forces, such as the pill, will take a while to interrupt that. Don’t have unprotected sex the first month you are on the pill. It also doesn’t protect you from STI’s, so it’s wise to continue using a condom even after you are protected by the pill.
The Withdrawl Method isn’t good birth control. The withdraw-method is definitely the oldest form of birth control, but very risky business. The idea is that the man removes his penis before ejaculation to prevent sperm entering the vagina. It can be very dangerous if used as the only form of birth control, especially if the man is younger or inexperienced. It also offers no protection from STIs, leaving you completely vulnerable to diseases like Syphilis, Chlamydia and HIV.
Balloons are for the circus. Plastic wrap is for leftovers. We guarantee that if you read the uses section on the side of a box of plastic wrap, it won’t say “99% effective in preventing pregnancy.” Do not try to improvise these items, or any similar items, for condoms. Condoms were specifically designed and tested to not only prevent pregnancy and STIs, but to also allow for enjoyable sex. Sex with a balloon doesn’t sound all that enticing.
Gravity won’t protect you from pregnancy. This is one of the only times the laws of gravity DO NOT apply. Having sex while standing or with the woman on top will not prevent pregnancy. When a man ejaculates inside a woman’s vagina, the sperm is place in the cervix. Once there, it cannot drain out with the help of gravity. It travels up the cervical canal to the uterus, where it fertilizes the egg.
You can’t wash it out. Showering or douching after sex will not clean the sperm from your body. It is deposited too far into your body for shower water or a douche to reach. In addition to washing, urinating after sex will not help.
Guessing your fertility is an art, not a science. A lack of understanding of the menstrual cycle leads to the myth that you are fertile only one day a month, and the idea that day is easily calculated mathematically. While you can make a rather accurate estimate of your ovulation and menstruation cycle, your body is not a machine, and there are many reasons why you may be off one month.
Your menstrual cycle concerns four different hormones: luteinizing, estrogen, progesterone and follicle-stimulating hormones. These key players need to interact perfectly every month for you to be 100% sure of when your “safe day” will be. Let’s face it, not even the closest of friends get along all the time. You don’t want to risk that your hormones might not be communicating properly one month, and you end up pregnant. Use a condom or hormonal birth control.
There is a lot of false information out there on ways to avoid pregnancy. It’s important to educate yourself on what truly will work, and how effective those methods actually are. Remember, the only fool-proof method of avoiding pregnancy is abstaining from sex.