5 Birth Control Myths—Debunked!

Gunce • Head of research at Glow. Unwilling infertility expert. 2 kids after 6 IVF treatments.

Our top 5 Birth Control myths – debunked.

1. Birth control will make me gain weight.

No, it won’t. Well, you might gain weight. But it won’t be because of your birth control. They did this massive examination of 49 different studies of different types of birth control – you can read it here – and they could not find any causality between birth control and weight gain. (With the exception of the Depo-Provera shot, which one study has shown to lead to some weight gain.) Also, given the wide variety of birth control options available, you can always switch it up until you find one that makes you comfortable.

2. Birth control will make me barren.

No, it won’t. Most types of birth control stop working as soon as you stop using them. (The Depo-Provera is an exception again – and can stay in your system for up to a year.) In fact, this one study – you can read it here – showed that your chances of getting pregnant quicker INCREASED after you got off the pill compared to someone who had never taken it.

3. If he pulls out before he ejaculates, I can’t get pregnant.

Of course, you can. But withdrawal can actually be an effective form of birth control. Of every 100 women whose partners use withdrawal, only 4 will become pregnant each year if they always do it correctly. But – and this is a big but – if they do not do it perfectly – if they wait a few seconds too long to pull out, then 27 of those women will become pregnant. That’s right: More than 1 in 4. So before you agree to use the withdrawal method, please make sure that your partner knows when to pull out and has the wherewithal to do so.

4. I’m having anal sex – but I am still worried I can get pregnant.

Don’t be worried. The only way this could happen is if your partner’s ejaculate leaks down from your rectum into your vagina and then travels towards the cervix. It’s kinda like if the sperm boarded a plane to NY and ended up in California. What are the chances, right? Use a condom and make it even less likely.

5. Birth control is expensive.

No, it’s not. Young people can even qualify for free birth control depending on where they live. Go check out bedsider.org and look into all your options. They also do a good job explaining your bevy of choices.

Okay. That’s it for now. That’s definitely not all the different myths out there, but we will tackle the rest next time. You are already way ahead of the game – because you have downloaded Glow and are becoming familiar with your body and its patterns. You know about your fertile period, and you know things like BBT and CM and the roles they play. 

And it is empowering, right? Please remember – we are here for you. The entire Glow community. Let us know if you have any questions.