Contraception methods: Myths and misconceptions cleared

One of the basic human necessities, but a taboo subject in India, is sex.

While it is an integral part of life, it is also important to ensure that the process is safe and does not result in unwanted pregnancy. Any such negative outcome can not only have emotional and psychological implications but also hamper overall well-being.

According to statistics, a large percentage of people in the country have had unsafe sex at some point, without the use of contraceptives. Unsafe sex is one of the major causes of deaths due to unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion.

To avoid pregnancy and enjoy a sex life devoid of unwanted worries, it is imperative to follow safe and effective contraceptive advice.

According to Dr Astha Dayal, gynaecologist on Lybrate, “There is no ideal contraceptive method and no one-size-fits-all. One should consider some parameters such as number of existing children; the desire to have more children; health of the couple including any medical condition, their age and chances of infection; and the frequency of intercourse. There are also many myths and misconceptions about contraceptive methods, which need to be clarified.”

On the World Population Day, Dr Dayal listed the myths and misconceptions:

# Condoms decrease sexual pleasure

Condom is the most widely used contraceptive method. While they can help reduce the chances of infection, some feel that they decrease sexual pleasure, which is not true.Some condoms with medicated products can actually increase the duration of intercourse. What is important is to know how to use it. Condoms should be worn on an erect penis after all the air is expelled. During removal, the condom should be held at the base of the penis.

#Condoms can get damaged easily

This is not true and happens only when a person does not know the right way to use a condom.It is a good idea to learn how to use it properly first. Depending on whether a person is allergic to latex, he can choose between a latex or a non-latex condom. Barrier methods for females such as female condoms, diaphragm, and cervical cap are also available but not used much.

# OCPs cause cancer

Oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) actually decrease the risk of cancers such as ovarian cancer and cancer of the endometrium. The only thing that women need to ensure is to get themselves examined for breast cancer, although the risk for this is also minimal.

# Sterilization is painful in both men and women

Contrary to perception, male vasectomy and female tubectomyis not painful. It is a permanent way of contraception for couples with more than two children. The technique is very safe in both men and women and does not affect sexual activity in any way.

The best way to decide which contraception method will be suitable is to talk to your doctor. This will mean that the information comes from a reliable source and will in turn help you in making an informed decision about the right birth control option. In matters of health, only facts will do.


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