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Four Common Misunderstandings About Birth Control Pills

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Birth control pills are among the easiest and most consistent ways for women to avoid an unexpected pregnancy. However, there are some major and common misunderstandings about how these pills work. Here are a few of the most common misunderstandings and the truth behind them.

1. Birth Control Pills Are Not "Abortion Pills"

There are pills that are meant to cause an abortion of a fetus, but these are not the pills commonly known as birth control pills. Birth control pills are preventative rather than abortive. They prevent an egg from ever getting fertilized. Women pass unfertilized eggs every time they have a period; it is a perfectly natural process. 

2. Birth Controls Don't Work For Everyone Equally

Birth control pills alter the level of hormones in a woman's body. Their effectiveness depends on the woman's own hormonal levels in addition to some other factors. Most notably, some birth control pills have been shown to be less effective on women who are obese. Women should always discuss their unique health needs with an obgyn. 

3. Birth Control Pills Aren't Affected By All Antibiotics

There is only one known antibiotic that impacts birth control pills, and it is fairly rarely used. Most antibiotics have never been shown to have any impact on the usefulness of birth control pills. Though a secondary method of birth control (such as condoms) may still be advisable, you shouldn't shy away from using antibiotics simply because you're on the pill. Your pharmacist can give you more information about medications that can interfere with each other.

4. Birth Control Pills Can Be Affected By Other Things

There are certain herbs that can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills, and it's not likely that a patient would get a warning regarding this because herbs and natural remedies don't have to be purchased from a pharmacist. Most commonly, St. John's Wort has been known to impact the effectiveness of birth control pills. In general, anything that affects a woman's hormones may also affect their birth control.

If you have questions about birth control pills, your obgyn should be able to give you answers. It's always best to ask more questions rather than fewer when it comes to your sexual and reproductive health. In addition to birth control pills, there are also a wide variety of other options: IUDs implants, shots, and one-time use disposable contraceptives. All of these will help you control when, how, and if you become pregnant. 

For birth control, contact a clinic such as Healthcare for Women Only.