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GB-NON-02457 | Date of Preparation: April 2020

 

True or false?

Find out if you know contraceptive fact from fiction.

 

Myth 1

You can’t get pregnant when you’re on your period

Incorrect

Surprisingly, this isn’t true. Despite what you might have heard, there’s a chance of getting pregnant if you have unprotected sex on your period. This is because some women ovulate early and sperm can live up to 7 days in your fallopian tubes1–3

Make sure you use contraception if you don’t want to get pregnant.

Correct

Yep, this one is false. There’s a chance of getting pregnant if you have unprotected sex on your period. This is because some women ovulate early and sperm can live up to 7 days in your fallopian tubes1–3

Make sure you use contraception if you don’t want to get pregnant.

 
 
 
 
  1. NHS. Can I pregnant just after my period has finished? Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/can-i-get-pregnant-just-after-my-period-has-finished/ (Last accessed June 2019)
  2. NHS. Can you have sex during your period? Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/sexual-health/can-you-have-sex-during-a-period/ (Last accessed June 2019)
  3. NHS. Periods. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/periods/fertility-in-the-menstrual-cycle/ (Last accessed June 2019)

Myth 2

Contraception affects your long-term fertility

ability to get pregnant

Incorrect

Thankfully, this one is not true.

Lots of studies have shown that once you come off contraception, your ability to get pregnant returns1,2 (although how long this takes depends on what type of contraception you use). It shouldn’t take more than a year for everything to get back to normal.2

Correct

You’re right!

Once you stop taking contraception, your fertility returns to normal.1,2 This can happen quite quickly or take up to a year, depending on the type of contraception and how your body responds.2

 
 
 
 
  1. Girum T and Wasie A. Contracept Reprod Med. 2018; 3: 9.
  2. Mansour D et al. Contraception. 2011; 84(5): 465–477.

Myth 3

There aren’t a lot of options when it comes to contraception

Incorrect

This one isn’t true. While you might only know about one or two options, there are actually at least 12 types of contraception to choose from.1–13

Correct

You’re right. There are at least 12 types of contraception to choose from.1–13

 
 
 
 
  1. NHS contraception guide: Contraceptive implant. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/contraceptive-implant/ (Last accessed May 2019).
  2. NHS contraception guide: Contraceptive injection. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/contraceptive-injection/ (Last accessed May 2019).
  3. FPA Sexwise: IUD. Available at: https://sexwise.fpa.org.uk/contraception/iud-intrauterine-device (Last accessed May 2019).
  4. NHS contraception guide: IUS. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/ius-intrauterine-system/ (Last accessed May 2019).
  5. NHS contraception guide: Natural family planning. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/natural-family-planning/ (Last accessed May 2019).
  6. FPA Sexwise: Sterilisation. Available at: https://sexwise.fpa.org.uk/contraception/sterilisation (Last accessed June 2019).
  7. NHS contraception guide: Combined pill. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/combined-contraceptive-pill/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  8. NHS contraception guide: Contraceptive patch. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/contraceptive-patch/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  9. NHS contraception guide: The progestogen-only pill. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/the-pill-progestogen-only/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  10. NHS contraception guide: Vaginal ring. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/vaginal-ring/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  11. NHS contraception guide: Male condoms. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/male-condoms/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  12. NHS contraception guide: Female condoms. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/female-condoms/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  13. FPA Sexwise: Diaphragms and caps. Available at: https://sexwise.fpa.org.uk/contraception/diaphragms-and-caps (Last accessed June 2019).

Myth 4

You can’t get pregnant when you’re breastfeeding

Incorrect

You’re not quite right.

You can get pregnant as little as 3 weeks after having a baby, even if you’re breastfeeding and your periods haven’t started again.1

If you want to protect yourself from pregnancy, you should use contraception. Have a chat with a doctor about what could be suitable for you.

Correct

There is evidence to suggest that in the first six months after having a baby you might be protected from pregnancy if you’re exclusively breastfeeding and you are not having your period.2–4 If you’re giving your little one formula or even pumped breast milk, it is still possible to get pregnant. The NHS says it’s possible to get pregnant as little as 3 weeks after having a baby, even if you’re breastfeeding and your periods haven’t started again.1

If you don’t want to get pregnant, you should use contraception.

 
 
 
 
  1. NHS. Sex and contraception after birth. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/sex-contraception-after-birth/ (Last accessed June 2019)
  2. Planned Parenthood. Breastfeeding as Birth Control. Available at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/breastfeeding (Last accessed June 2019).
  3. Vekemans M. Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2007; 2(2): 105–111.
  4. Van der Wijden C and Manion C. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015; 10: CD001329.

Myth 5

I don’t want to take contraception that contains hormones so there aren’t any options for me

Incorrect

Nope, that’s not right. You have lots of options if you want a hormone-free method of contraception.

The diaphragm/cap, female and male condom, IUD/coil, sterilisation and natural methods are all hormone-free.

The combined pill, progestogen-only pill, IUS, the injection, the implant, the ring and the patch all contain hormones.1–13

Correct

You’re correct. There are at least 12 different types of contraceptives – many of which don’t contain hormones.

The diaphragm/cap, female and male condom, IUD/coil, sterilisation and natural methods are all hormone-free.

The combined pill, progestogen-only pill, IUS, the injection, the implant, the ring and the patch all contain hormones.1–13

 
 
 
 
  1. NHS contraception guide: Contraceptive implant. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/contraceptive-implant/ (Last accessed May 2019).
  2. NHS contraception guide: Contraceptive injection. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/contraceptive-injection/ (Last accessed May 2019).
  3. FPA Sexwise: IUD. Available at: https://sexwise.fpa.org.uk/contraception/iud-intrauterine-device (Last accessed May 2019).
  4. NHS contraception guide: IUS. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/ius-intrauterine-system/ (Last accessed May 2019).
  5. NHS contraception guide: Natural family planning. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/natural-family-planning/ (Last accessed May 2019).
  6. FPA Sexwise: Sterilisation. Available at: https://sexwise.fpa.org.uk/contraception/sterilisation (Last accessed June 2019).
  7. NHS contraception guide: Combined pill. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/combined-contraceptive-pill/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  8. NHS contraception guide: Contraceptive patch. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/contraceptive-patch/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  9. NHS contraception guide: The progestogen-only pill. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/the-pill-progestogen-only/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  10. NHS contraception guide: Vaginal ring. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/vaginal-ring/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  11. NHS contraception guide: Male condoms. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/male-condoms/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  12. NHS contraception guide: Female condoms. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/female-condoms/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  13. FPA Sexwise: Diaphragms and caps. Available at: https://sexwise.fpa.org.uk/contraception/diaphragms-and-caps (Last accessed June 2019).

Myth 6

There aren’t many long-term contraceptive options

Incorrect

Nope, you didn’t get it quite right this time. There are actually quite a few contraceptive options that you don’t have to remember to take every day or use every time you have sex.

The IUD/coil, IUS, injection and implant are all long-acting reversible contraceptives, sometimes called “fit and forget” methods.1–4 Sterilisation is a long-term but permanent type of contraception.5

The diaphragm/cap, female and male condom, combined pill, progestogen-only pill, ring, patch and natural methods all need you to think about them more often.6–13

Correct

Yes, you nailed it. There are actually quite a few long-term contraceptive options – things you don’t have to remember to take every day or use every time you have sex.

The IUD/coil, IUS injection and implant are all long-acting reversible contraceptives, sometimes called “fit and forget” methods.1–4 Sterilisation is a long-term but permanent type of contraception.5

The diaphragm/cap, female and male condom, combined pill, progestogen-only pill, ring, patch and natural methods all need you to think about them more often.6–13

 
 
 
 
  1. NHS contraception guide: Contraceptive implant. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/contraceptive-implant/ (Last accessed May 2019).
  2. NHS contraception guide: Contraceptive injection. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/contraceptive-injection/ (Last accessed May 2019).
  3. FPA Sexwise: IUD. Available at: https://sexwise.fpa.org.uk/contraception/iud-intrauterine-device (Last accessed May 2019).
  4. NHS contraception guide: IUS. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/ius-intrauterine-system/ (Last accessed May 2019).
  5. NHS contraception guide: Natural family planning. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/natural-family-planning/ (Last accessed May 2019).
  6. FPA Sexwise: Sterilisation. Available at: https://sexwise.fpa.org.uk/contraception/sterilisation (Last accessed June 2019).
  7. NHS contraception guide: Combined pill. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/combined-contraceptive-pill/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  8. NHS contraception guide: Contraceptive patch. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/contraceptive-patch/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  9. NHS contraception guide: The progestogen-only pill. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/the-pill-progestogen-only/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  10. NHS contraception guide: Vaginal ring. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/vaginal-ring/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  11. NHS contraception guide: Male condoms. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/male-condoms/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  12. NHS contraception guide: Female condoms. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/female-condoms/ (Last accessed June 2019).
  13. FPA Sexwise: Diaphragms and caps. Available at: https://sexwise.fpa.org.uk/contraception/diaphragms-and-caps (Last accessed June 2019).

The end!

We hope you've learned a little more about the preconceptions and truths about different types of contraception.

For more information on your options go back to the homepage

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This information is not intended as a replacement for the information leaflet included with your contraceptive medication. Please visit your doctor, nurse or local contraception clinic for more information and to discuss your options.

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Reporting of Side Effects: If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

Contraceptive Match is an awareness campaign which has been fully funded and developed by MSD.

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