Not quite ready for the pitter patter of little feet?
Turns out, birth control — when used correctly — does more than delay your dance with dirty diapers and midnight feedings. It also allows you to set aside the fear of pregnancy and focus solely on your partner and your pleasure during sex.
Here, Colleen Krajewski, MD, MPH, a Bedsider medical expert and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh who specializes in family planning, delves into the inaccuracies surrounding birth control and explains why the pill will not cause infertility. We repeat. The pill will not cause infertility.
YourTango: Seven in ten pregnancies to young single women are unplanned. With an abundance of resources available, why do you believe that number is still so high?
Dr. Colleen Krajewski: I spend a lot of time thinking about this, and there’s not a simple answer!
On a broad level, there’s actually not great access to the most effective birth control methods–IUDs and the subdermal implant. Even pills can be hard to get, between having a physician to prescribe them and getting to the pharmacy for refills on time!
Research done by the Contraceptive Choice Project showed that when women were offered any birth control method for free and were educated about their options, more women choose the most effective methods—and those who did had lower rates of unplanned pregnancy.
Individual women have different barriers to effective contraception, and that’s what I address once someone’s in my office. For example, many women have the misperception that they are infertile—and that’s usually not the case! Or, they are using a common method that they believe is very effective, like a pill or condom, and it turns out that’s not always the case.
Lastly, I find many women don't think they need birth control, since they’re not in a serious relationship. But that’s exactly the time you don’t want to get pregnant, right?! Ladies, there is NO shame in using contraception! There are so many factors early in a relationship that are unpredictable, but birth control is one aspect we can control (pun intended).
YourTango: What's the most common misconception about birth control amongst women in their twenties?
Dr. Colleen Krajewski: Thanks for asking—there are SO MANY! I find that many women have misconceptions about the IUD. They think they’re not a ‘candidate’ for it, but the fact is that the IUD is a great option for birth control for just about anyone, whether you’re young, old(er!), have had children, or haven’t.
The other misconception I hear MANY versions of is that a pill can cause infertility. And many of my patients believe that there’s a ‘grace period’ of time after stopping the pill when you still can’t get pregnant. Let me say this clearly—if you stop using your birth control method, you’re at risk for pregnancy!
YourTango: Which forms of birth control are most effective for young professional women?
Dr. Colleen Krajewski: A young professional woman probably wants extremely reliable birth control, and for that reason a lot of my patients will choose an IUD or the contraceptive implant, since they’re really effective. If heavy periods are a concern, or are difficult to work with (long hours, few bathroom breaks!), many professional women will choose a progestin IUD since it decreases or even stops a woman’s period. KEEP READING!
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