Contraception tends to be an important aspect of sexual life. It protects not only from unwanted pregnancy but has a great number of health benefits. However, there are many myths and misconceptions about all types of contraception that make some people avoid it. In order to provide you with important information, we gathered these six mindblowing facts about contraception you might not know.
1. Menstruation is not a contraception option
Many people think that it is impossible to get pregnant during periods. However, you should know that this statement is false. Despite the fact that the chances to get pregnant during menstruation are quite small, the sperm can maintain their functions for a long time. For example, they can remain alive up to 72 hours, while being in the uterine mucosa. After the end of menstruation, the sperm can move on and fertilize the egg, which leads to pregnancy.
In addition, menstrual cycles are different in every woman. In some women, ovulation occurs on the 14th day of the cycle, while in others it can occur on the seventh day. Moreover, some women have bloody discharge that remains until the ovulation period begins. In this case, you may think that there is no chance of conception but the ability to get pregnant has already reached its maximum.
2. There is hormonal and non-hormonal contraception
The contraception can be divided into two types, hormonal and non-hormonal. Hormonal contraception means that it affects the production of hormones that are responsible for ovulation and the ability of a woman to get pregnant in general. The most common types of hormonal contraceptives include birth control pills, hormonal IUD, Nuvaring, hormonal injections, and subcutaneous implants.
Non-hormonal contraception affects the sperm or doesn’t let it penetrate the uterus. The most common types of non-hormonal contraception are condoms (both male and female), copper IUD, and spermicide. While copper IUD can remain in the cervix for a few years, other contraception options should be used before every intercourse.
3. Condoms don’t provide complete protection
Despite the fact that condoms are considered one of the most effective contraception, they can’t completely protect from some infections like herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV). These conditions can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. You should also know that most people a tr infected with herpes that can remain in hidden form for many years.
In the case of HPV, there are many types of this virus. While many of them are quite harmless, several types can cause cervical cancer. The reality is that this virus can also be asymptomatic and a person might not know that he or she is infected.
4. Hormonal contraception can ease pain during periods
If you suffer from severe pain and cramps during menstruation, hormonal contraception can ease your symptoms. They suppress ovulation and the menstrual cycle and keep the endometrium inactive. It can be hormonal contraceptives that contain both progestin and estrogen (combined) or those that contain only progestin. Despite the fact that there are many different types of hormonal contraceptives on the market, only a doctor can define which type exactly is suitable for you.
5. Birth control pills help treat certain health issues
You should know that birth control pills are a part of endometriosis, acne, and uterine fibroids treatment. They partially stop the female reproductive system and change the properties of the endometrium. Moreover, they increase the level of estrogen that reduces the number and size of fibroids.
6. Scientists are working on male hormonal contraception
Birth control pills for women are quite popular and have been used for many decades. But the search for an analog of birth control drugs for men turned out to be more complicated. The reality is that the formation of sperm in men occurs constantly. Millions of sperm cells are formed daily in the male body and it’s not easy to stop this process. Male sexual functions are also controlled by hormones. Luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones are responsible for spermatogenesis.
Researchers at the University of Washington reported on the successful first phase of the male birth control pill clinical trials. This drug blocks the production of luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones. According to the researchers, the first male birth control pills will appear on the market in 5-10 years.