While there are various types of birth control available in Singapore, you may be most familiar with the monthly pill (or the emergency pill). These are known as hormonal birth control; they effectively prevent pregnancy by changing hormonal levels in the body. There are many misconceptions around hormonal methods that may deter women from using them. However, hormonal methods, such as the monthly pill, can be up to 99% effective.
We uncover the truth behind common misconceptions around birth control, to equip you with the knowledge to make more informed choices about your body.
Birth control pills cause weight gain
Weight gain resulting from consuming birth control pills is rare; and if any, it’s often temporary due to water retention rather than fat gain. The myth that birth control pills cause weight gain might have perpetuated when birth control pills sold in the early 1960s had very high levels of estrogen and progestin that stimulated your appetite.
Current birth control pills have much lower amounts of hormones so weight gain is not a side effect you need to worry about. If you are still concerned about the hormone levels in the birth control pill, speak to your doctor for alternative birth control pills with lower doses of hormones.
Birth control pills permanently affect fertility
Birth control pills will not have a permanent impact on your fertility. Once you stop taking the pill, your body will return to your natural level of hormones, and this includes your natural fertility as well. This is why it’s important for you not to skip a day when you’re on the pill, or to use alternate methods of birth control (such as a condom) if you have.
This misconception around your fertility could have arisen when couples in their late 30s decided to stop the pill to get pregnant, only to discover that it is not easy to do so due to a drop in their natural fertility.
Birth control pills are only for contraception
Did you know that modern birth control pills provide other health benefits apart from preventing pregnancy?
Regulate Hormonal Levels
If you have an irregular menstrual cycle or experience heavy bleeding, hormonal birth control pills may help to balance the hormonal fluctuations and make periods lighter and more consistent.
Hormonal acne can be prevented by birth control pills. This is because the pills help to control and prevent sudden drops and rises in hormonal levels, which are typically responsible for outbreaks. By regulating hormonal levels, the pill thus effectively helps to control hormonal acne.
Lowers Risk of Medical Conditions & Certain Cancers
Research has shown that hormonal birth control pills can reduce the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer over the long term. Taking the pill for four years may cut uterine cancer risk by half. This protection can last for ten years after going off the pill.
Going on the pill can also prevent the formation of ovarian cysts, which may form in the ovaries during ovulation. While they are usually benign and resolve on their own, they can cause pain. Birth control pills prevent ovulation, which in turn prevents cyst formation and the occurrence of recurring cysts.
Alleviates Menstrual Related Pain
Common types of menstrual related pain include painful period cramps caused by contractions in your uterus and the menstrual migraine. The pill can help to reduce such pain as it prevents ovulation and regulates the level of estrogen and progesterone in your body.
Ready to explore your contraceptive options in Singapore? Speak to your doctor to find the most suitable birth control method for you.