#TabooTuesday: Myths About The Pill, Debunked
The pill (actually called the combined oral contraceptive pill) is the most common form of contraception in the UK. Not only is it 99% effective, but it can lighten periods, reduce PMS and even help with adult acne – so why are women secretly scared of it?
“It makes you fat,” some rumours say. “It makes you infertile,” others claim. “It can make your entire face erupt like a volcano and there’s no way of stopping it,” OMG please tell me this isn’t true.
To stop ourselves having mini heart palpitations when those mini heart palpitations are totally unnecessary, GP and wellness blogger Dr Ajiri is busting those mystical (ahem) myths about bad side effects right now…
Does The Pill Make You Put On Weight?
“This is one of the most commonly-held beliefs about the pill. The simple answer is that research has NOT shown that the pill causes weight gain. However, some women may find that their weight changes throughout their cycle and and this is due to fluid retention. Some women also report increased appetite whilst taking the pill and this may lead to weight gain.”
Is It Bad To Back-To-Back Your Pill?
“The common advice has been that there is no problem with the occasional packet of pills back-to-back (without a seven day break) as for special occasions such as holidays. However, to take the pill continuously for periods of more than three months is not currently recommended and any such course of action would need to be discussed with your doctor or nurse responsible for prescribing your pill.”
Does Your Body Need A Break From Birth Control?
“No, you don’t need to take a break because the hormones do not build up. The Family Planning Association have stated that ‘there are no known benefits to your health or fertility from taking a break’.”
Does The Pill Affect Fertility?
“The short answer is no. There is no evidence to suggest that taking the pill affects your fertility. When you stop the pill, your fertility should return to baseline.
“My advice is to ensure that you see your GP or family planning nurse so that a detailed medical history and assessment is done to find the best pill for you. If one pill, doesn’t suit you, there are many others that you can try. The pill is just one of many contraception options out there, so if you’re not happy with how it makes you feel, there are other alternatives.
“Just remember, the pill does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections so you should take extra precautions such as using condoms! All information on the pill and other forms of contraception can be found here: www.fpa.org.uk.”
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