Because even though the Pill is one of the most carefully studied and researched medications in the U.S., there’s still a lot of confusion about how it works with your body. Most of us have collected anecdotal information over the years, and it’s totally normal that some untruths have snuck into our brain bank as a result.
But, worry no more, because we’re setting the record straight with some myth-busting facts.
For more help separating fact from fiction, here’s a helpful resource. And of course, if you have Qs about your contraceptive options, talk to your doctor, who can help you figure out what works for you.
Myth #1: There are oral contraceptive options currently on the market for men.
Fact: This is one myth we wish were true. Though clinical development of male oral contraception has been going on for several decades, there still isn’t an option available.
However, that’s not to say progress hasn’t been made: there are several male contraceptivesthat are advancing in their research and development cycles, but in the meantime men will have to rely on the condom to keep their sperm at bay and away from that egg (and also to protect both partners against sexually transmitted diseases, a.k.a STDs).
Myth #2: Placebo pills aren’t an important part of the pack.
Fact: Real talk—humans aren’t that great at taking their daily medication; that’s why we have those handy day-of-the-week organizers to keep us on track. (And really—how many of us are diligent about taking a multivitamin every day, even those delicious fruity gummy ones?)
That’s why, even though they’re not active pills with hormones, reinforcing the behavior of popping out and swallowing them helps us form a good habit of taking one pill every day.
Myth #3: It’s difficult or unhealthy to switch to another pill.
Fact: For many women, switching to another Pill might be an option (although it’s important to note that this isn’t the case for all women, so obviously, talk to a doctor before making any changes). If you feel like the birth control you are currently on isn’t right for you, remember, there are a wide range of formulations available, and the first (or second or third) one you try might not be the one that’s appropriate for you.
Just remember that once you’ve gotten your doc’s okay to switch, you want to be sure to follow the directions they give you (about starting the new Pill on the first day that your previous pack would have started, or even using a back-up birth control method).
And of course, don’t hesitate to ask questions if you’re unsure of anything that’s going on with your body. There’s no such thing as a stupid question—that’s true in life, and extra-true in your doctor’s office!
Myth #4: If you’re on the Pill, you’re protected.
Fact: This one might feel like common sense, but it’s worth saying out loud—more than once. The Pill does not protect against STDs. If you chat with your doctor and take the Pill as directed, it helps protect you against pregnancy.
But that’s different from STDs—the only reliable way to protect yourself on that front (beyond abstinence) is to use a condom.