“Birth control pills will harm me”

This is by far one of the most common lines that come up whenever I have a discussion with my patients on regular and proper contraception methods.

Unfortunately, many women in Singapore, ranging from the young to the older, middle-aged women, still easily misunderstand birth control pills and their actual benefits.

Whether they have heard these fictitious misconceptions on contraceptive pills from their mother, sister or friends, this article serves to debunk these myths and educate women with the correct information!

Read on to find out what are the top 6 myths surrounding birth control pills and why believing them may cause more harm instead!

Myth #1 – Birth Control Pills Contain Hormones That Will Harm Me

woman taking birth control pills

Yes, it is true that birth control pills obviously contain hormones. However, the hormonal content of the regular contraceptive pill is actually relatively low.

The hormonal content of regular birth control pills are actually MUCH lower compared to the hormonal content in the emergency contraceptive pill.

As such, taking regular birth control pills for proper contraception is actually much safer than consuming the emergency pill whenever a slip up occurs.

While not everyone may be suitable or safe to consume these hormonal pills, if you are a young healthy and fit woman without any background medical condition, then this pill is safe for you!

Do consult with a doctor first to find out the suitability of the pill for you before you start.

Myth #2 – Birth Control Pills Will Mess Up My Menstrual Cycle, Which Is Currently Regular

calendar to reflect regular menstrual cycle

On the contrary, birth control pills actually help to REGULATE your periods, making them extremely regular each month!

These very same medications are used to treat women who experience irregular menstrual problems or women who have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) as well.

Taking the pills in a regular schedule of 21 days, with a 7-day pill free period will allow your period to come during the 7-day pill free window. This makes your menstrual cycle very regular and also very predictable.

Myth #3 – Birth Control Pills Make Me Gain Weight

slim woman measuring her waist to show no weight gain

While some women may experience slight water retention or bloating, there is no evidence that the newer combined oral contraceptive pills actually lead directly to weight gain in women.

If you lead a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and proper eating habits, taking birth control pills are unlikely to cause any significant weight gain for you.

Myth #4 – Taking Birth Control Pills Will Affect My Fertility In Future

parent holding a baby’s feet to represent good fertility

Absolutely not!

Birth control pills only inhibit ovulation and prevent a pregnancy while the woman is taking it regularly. Once the medication is stopped, the fertility of a woman returns almost immediately.

This also means that taking the pills wrongly or irregularly can still potentially lead to an unwanted pregnancy.

Having an unwanted pregnancy and choosing to go for a termination can in turn cause permanent scarring of the womb, which will affect a woman’s fertility.

Myth #5 – Birth Control Pills Cause Cancer

eraser erasing the word cancer to show that birth control pills help to prevent cancer

There has always been a long-standing belief that taking birth control pills will lead to cancer.

While the combined contraceptive pill has some associations with a possibly slightly increased risk of breast cancer, this association is not absolute. Meaning, taking the pills does not most definitely mean you are going to get breast cancer! This risk is generally low.

Also, studies have shown that the association with breast cancer is reduced back to baseline once the pills are stopped for a certain amount of time.

More importantly, did you know what birth control pills actually PROTECT you against 2 types of cancer?

Research studies have shown that women on the regular birth control pill for a few years have reduced risk of getting BOTH ovarian and womb cancer. There has also been an association with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer as well.

Myth #6 – Birth Control Pills Are The Only Form Of Birth Control

various methods of birth control

This is definitely not true!

Birth control pills are just one of the many different types of regular birth control methods available. While taking birth control pills have many added benefits which make it a great choice for many women, it requires the discipline to remember taking a pill daily around the same time.

This may not suit everyone, especially people with irregular work schedules, or people who just cannot remember.

Fret not; there are still many other reliable and convenient birth control methods available, such as the patch, depot injection, implant or IUD.

Speak to a doctor who is experienced with birth control to discuss your options and what suits you best!