Although the internet allows us to have information at hand, many times we find more myths than information, and if we talk about contraceptive methods and hormones it’s even more important to tear down those myths so people can make a decision based on scientific facts.
Let’s talk about myths about the use of hormones as a contraceptive method
Myth: You will gain weight
Most women do not suffer weight gain due to the hormones of their contraceptive method. Weight gain is natural due to aging and other personal circumstances, and as these changes happen so naturally, many women may believe it is due to hormones. However, medical studies show that on average this change is not related to your contraceptive method.
A very small group of women will suffer variations in their weight, which will be stopped when they stop using their contraceptive and will return to their normal weight. There is still no known cause for this variation.
Myth: They cause cancer
Scientific studies show that there are slightly more cases of women with breast cancer who have used the contraceptive pill than those cases where the patient has not consumed this method. But this does not show that there is a real link between breast cancer and the consumption of the pill or that the cancer will not live in the patient before she started using the pill
On the other hand, what is proven, is the consumption of the pill reduces the risk of endometrial, ovarian, colon and rectum cancer.
Myth: Cause infertility
Because it is a hormonal method, not all women can get pregnant immediately after leaving their contraceptive. While it is true that in most cases it takes them days to return to their cycle and with it the possibility of pregnancy, there are also cases that may take months to restore their cycle to normal. Remember, every person is different and studies show there’s no disadvantage for women who have used oral contraception for a long time to get pregnant .
Myth: Infants can consume them through breast milk
Absolutely a myth! It is scientifically proven that the use of a hormonal contraceptive method does not affect the volume, composition or cause a defect on the infant. The only side effect that estrogen could produce is a slight reduction in the amount of milk produced, however there are no changes in its nutritional quality.
Myth: Young women should not use hormones as a contraceptive
Hormonal methods can be used by any woman, there is no maximum or minimum age. Even many medical institutions as the World Health Organization recommend the use of the contraceptive pill among teenager girls, including those who are breastfeeding, because this method is very effective in family planning.
We recommend that whenever you seek to start a contraceptive method visit a doctor who based on your medical history and conditions, can give you a suggestion that suits your needs.
- Contraception: Do hormonal contraceptives cause weight gain?, Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, June, 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441582/
- Oral Contraceptives and Cancer Risk, National Cancer Institute, February, 2018, https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/hormones/oral-contraceptives-fact-sheet
- Prolonged use of oral contraception before a planned pregnancy is associated with a decreased risk of delayed conception, Human Reproduction, Volume 17, Issue 10, October 2002, https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/17/10/2754/607778
- Optimizing maternal and neonatal outcomes with postpartum contraception: impact on breastfeeding and birth spacing, Aparna Sridhar and Jennifer Salcedo, January, 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5237348/
- Contraception in adolescence, World Health Organization, 2004, https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/42901/9241591447_eng.pdf;sequence=1