Sex is a basic human right. But to have sex safely and without fear of unwanted pregnancy - should be the priority. Many women across the world die every day as a result of unwanted pregnancy, mostly due to unsafe abortion. So, couples can avoid pregnancy and enjoy sex life fully, only if they can follow safe and effective contraceptive advice. Let me clarify some popular myths and misconceptions abut contraception.
1. Contraception is useful for all
While the ideal contraceptive is necessary but it does not exist. So, what may seem suitable for a couple may not be useful for another couple. We need to assess various points like a number of children they have, wish to have further children and plan to have children, general health of wife and husband (and any diseases they suffer from), the frequency of intercourse, the chance of infection, the age of the partners etc.
2. Regarding barrier methods
Most popular barrier method is a male condom. But the myths are that" condoms reduce sexual pleasure" and" condoms get easily damaged leading to failure.Condoms are especially useful for those who are at risk of infections, who do not have very frequent intercourse and who are not suitable for other methods. Condoms do not decrease sexual pleasure, some of the condoms have medicated products which can increase the duration of intercourse and also act as a lubricant to facilitate intimacy. But men should know how to use it properly. It should be worn on erect penis expelling all the air and projecting the tip beyond the tip of the penis. While withdrawing penis after intercourse, the condom should be held at the base of the penis. Actually, failure/ rupture of condoms occur because of mishandling of condom or not knowing the proper use of it. So, before use, please make sure that you know its correct use. Definitely, some men can feel latex allergy and they have to use a non-latex condom, which is widely available.There are barrier methods for females also- like female condom, diaphragm, and cervical cap etc. But they are not very easy to use and are not so popular.
3. Oral Contraceptive Pills (OCP)
- OCP causes an increase in weight.
- OCP cause cancers.
CP seldom causes gain in weight. The gain in weight is coincidental, that means you have some other reason of gaining weight- like not having exercise, ignoring diet control and some other diseases. OCP rather reduces risk of cancer- especially ovarian cancer (which is very difficult to diagnose and very lethal), cancer of colon, cancer of endometrium (inner lining of uterus). Of course, there is little risk of breast cancer, but the risk is not very high, it can be easily detected by examination by doctor. So, if you take ocp, get rid of all the fears. Just try to have self- breast examination every month.
4. Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUCD)
Most popular is copper T. Medicated iucds are also available, that contains hormonal drugs. Copper T does not increase risk of infection, a common misconception lies among woman.
5. Emergency contraceptive pills (i pill etc)
Often couple uses these pills regularly after intercourse. Remember these pills contain very high content of hormonal drugs, which can lead to serious side effects like hormonal imbalance, irregularities in periods (and thus can prevent you from getting pregnant in future, even when you want pregnancy), ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside tubes that are life-threatening) etc. So, use regular contraception if you want to prevent pregnancy. I pill is not meant to be taken for every time.
Ligation of male (vasectomy) and female (tubectomy) is done as permanent contraception for couples having more than 2 children. Ligation in male does not disturb sexual activity. It is easier than female ligation. Again, female ligation is also a very safe technique.
So, please remove all misconceptions and myths about contraception. Have safe sex, enjoy life.