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Dr. Sudeshna Ray

Dr Sudeshna Ray (Hon Consultant-Jaslok) explains why Contraception needs to be taken Seriously! - 15th April 2017

Cracking some common myths….

1. Breastfeeding prevents pregnancy

Exclusive breastfeeding does suppress ovulation and thus prevent pregnancy but cannot be relied on as a sole method. There may be sporadic ovulation and an accidental pregnancy even while breastfeeding.

2. Birth control pills affect future fertility

Pills contain natural hormones of your body which is given externally. It is highly unlikely to have an effect on future fertility: pills neither enhance nor decrease one’s fertility potential.

3. I can take an ‘I pill’ instead of regular ocpills everytime I have unprotected sex?

Emergency pills are for Emergency exposure when one has been accidentally exposed unprotected at an unsafe period and there is a high chance of pregnancy. It cannot replace a regular contraception. Too frequent use of emergency contraception can lead to menstrual pattern disturbances.

4. Copper Ts and other IUCDs can cause infections, back pain and cancer

IUCD insertion under hygienic and safe conditions does not cause infections in a healthy uninfected womb. IUCDs do not cause back pain or Cancer 

5. Splashing water or taking a thorough shower soon after sex washes the sperms away and prevents pregnancy

Splashing water /urinating/douching oneself does not prevent pregnancy. Sperms can swim against the gradient and reach the egg to fertilize it in spite of all the violent mechanical methods of prevention.

6. All Birth control pills make you gain weight

Hormonal pills can cause water retention but the modern day pills with newer types of hormones at very low doses are highly unlikely to cause weight gain.

7. Using 2 condoms at a time double the protection

The friction of one condom over the other can cause minute breakages in the condoms and hence spillage of the man fluid and ultimately failure of contraception resulting in PREGNANCY!!


Choice of contraception

There is wide range of choice of different methods of contraception available for Indian Women. What suits one, will depend on a number of factors like age, medical conditions, family history, medications and personal habits.

A few examples

  1. Male Condoms
  • Acts as a barrier and stops the sperm from reaching the egg
  • 96% effective if used appropriately
  • Only method to protect a woman from sexually transmitted infections
  1. Combined hormonal Pills
  • 99% effective
  • Prevents ovulation temporarily
  • Used with caution in smokers and those with migraine and other medical conditions
  1. Contraception Ring
  • 99% effective
  • Contains hormones for contraception in form of a ring to be inserted internally
  • Advantage of using once in 3 weeks instead of daily use
  1. Copper Intrauterine Device
  • Best for those having at least one child
  • 97% effective
  • Valid for use for 3, 5 and 10 years.
  1. Contraceptive injections
  • To be taken once in 3 months
  • More than 99% effective
  • Takes longer for fertility to come back i.e. one gets pregnant about 6 to 9 months after stopping the injections
  1. Hormonal Intrauterine devices
  • Effective for 5 years
  • More than 99% effective
  • Excellent for those who have heavy bleeding


Can my contraceptive method be useful in any other way?

  • Condoms protect one from sexually transmitted infections
  • Pills reduce pain and bleeding during periods
  • Pills reduce risk of Ovarian and uterine cancer
  • Some pills help in reducing Acne and facial hair growth
  • Hormonal IUCDs reduce heavy bleeding during periods

Do share this page with your friends to increase awareness on this topic.