Despite the fact that the topic of sexual health today is quite actively discussed in the public sphere, there are definitely “blank spots” in this issue – for example, how to choose the right method of contraception, which to this day is shrouded in myths, often having nothing to do with the real situation business How to separate idle speculation from objective data and protect yourself from wrong steps in such a delicate matter? Let’s figure it out together with a reproductive health specialist.
Myth 1: Hormonal Contraceptives Cause Weight Gain and Hair Growth
Weight gain is only possible due to fluid retention. But this does not happen with all patients and not with all hormonal drugs. Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict in advance how the female body will react to taking a particular drug. If this happens, we cancel it and look for an alternative. Most often, recovery occurs in a short time. There are hormonal contraceptives that, on the contrary, remove fluid. If a woman has a fear of gaining weight, you can start with them. But regarding hair growth, this is really a myth. All hormonal contraceptives are combined, that is, they reduce the effect of testosterone. So the condition of your skin and hair will only improve, and excess hair will not appear on your body.
Myth 2: Hormone Therapy Is a Risk of Thrombosis
It all depends on the type of hormone therapy. There are combined oral contraceptives (they contain both estrogen and progesterone), and there are pure progestins. Estrogens tend to thicken the blood and can potentially provoke the development of thrombosis. The risk increases if the patient smokes. Therefore, before prescribing, all this must be discussed with your doctor. And discuss the possibility of abandoning combination therapy in favor of progestins.
Myth 3: Breastfeeding Is an Excellent Method of Birth Control
It is a myth. During breastfeeding, hormonal levels change. Even during breastfeeding, spontaneous ovulation may occur, and the menstrual cycle may also return to normal. Therefore, if there is no desire to have another child, it is necessary to use contraceptive methods. By the way, hormonal medications can also be used during breastfeeding.
Myth 4: Hormonal Contraceptives Can Cause Cancer
It depends on what kind of cancer we are talking about. Cervical cancer has nothing to do with hormones. Quite the contrary: after surgery in this area, such patients may be prescribed estrogen-containing drugs.
When it comes to breast cancer, you need to understand the genetic risks. A healthy girl without a history of breast cancer will not benefit from taking hormonal contraceptives. If there is a predisposition confirmed by blood, then the doctor should not offer such a patient the use of hormonal drugs. In this case, very careful monitoring of the use of any kind of contraceptives is necessary.
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Myth 5: IUDs Can Only Be Inserted Into Women Who Have Given Birth
No, that’s not true. It’s all about the convenience of inserting the spiral. There are two types of IUDs – hormonal and non-hormonal. We also divide them into therapeutic and non-medicinal. Among the hormonal ones, there are more subtle ones, and if the girl has not given birth, administering them is much more comfortable. Non-hormonal ones come in different shapes: T-shaped, in the form of circles or horns with jagged edges. The latter is the most reliable in shape, since it will not move anywhere, but installing it if the girl has not given birth is the most unpleasant. It happens that doctors scare you with the danger of endometritis (local inflammation), which can lead to further problems with pregnancy, but each case is considered individually. If no other type of contraception is a priori suitable for a woman, then the IUD is the best way to avoid abortion, which can precisely cause infertility.
Myth 6: It’s Difficult to Get Pregnant After Taking Hormonal Pills
Not certainly in that way. Previously, there were hormonal drugs (now a historical relic), which could cause ovarian hyper inhibition. Today these are isolated cases, and only in the presence of an initial predisposition. After discontinuation of hormonal drugs, the ovaries begin to work immediately. Some girls “give their bodies a rest” by giving up contraceptives for a month. But if pregnancy is not planned, there is no need to take any breaks.