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SHAKE Africa's Myth Buster: Contraception

Welcome back to our blog SHAKE family! SHAKE is super excited to be sharing World Contraception Day with you! It takes places annually on September 26th and was established by the World Health Organisation in 2007.

Now in the spirit of World Contraception Day we're here to dispel a few of the myths surrounding contraception so sit back, relax and enjoy SHAKE Africa's Myth Buster!

10 Contraception Myths

1. The Pull-Out Method is an effective form of Contraception

Do you know what we call people who use the pull-out method? PARENTS!

The 'pull-out method' a.k.a 'withdrawal' is when the man pulls out before he ejaculates. For a number of reasons this method isn't considered an effective form of contraception:

A) some ejaculate (fluid that contains the little swimmers that fertlise the egg) might be released before the man begins to climax

B) some men just can't pull out in time

C) sometimes its just too sweet and he doesn't have the willpower to do it.

In fact, the withdrawal method has a failure rate of nearly 25%. That means that 1 in 4 women who use it will get pregnant.

Still think it's effective?

2. I won't get pregnant if we have sex standing up or if I'm on top

Pregnancy can occur in all positions. You can contort yourself like a pretzel.. sperm plus egg still equals baby!

''You can contort yourself like a pretzel.. sperm plus egg still equals baby!''

3. I'm breastfeeding so I can't get pregnant

False. So whilst it is true, that breastfeeding can help to prevent pregnancy it must satisfy all three of the following criteria:

  1. The woman is within 6 months of delivery

  2. She hasn't yet had a menstrual period

  3. The baby is exclusively breastfed (no formula milk or soft foods)

4. Contraception is 100% effective

False! Abstinence is the only foolproof way to prevent pregnancy.

Most contraceptive methods are extremely effective and often as high as 99% effective but this is dependent on them being used correctly. It's important to understand how they should be used and what to do if you forget to use it etc. This will maximise their effectiveness.

See our contraception guide to learn all about the different contraceptive options and how effective they really are!

5. I won't get pregnant the first time I have sex

False. Pregnancy can occur any time ovulation (egg is released) occurs regardless of whether or not you have had sex before.

6. If I douche or have a shower after sex I won't get pregnant

False. Douching/showering after sex won't have any effect as the sperm will already have travelled up.

P.S. Douching is just not good for you

7. The pill causes infertility

False. In fact, some of the non-contraceptive benefits of the pill include preserving fertility by protecting against pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, and ectopic pregnancy.

8. I won't get pregnant if I have sex on my period

False. Although less likely, you can still get pregnant if you have sex on your period. Ovulation doesn't always occur at the same time each month, so if you ovulate early or have long periods and short cycles you may get pregnant if you have unprotected sex on your period.

P.S. Sperm can live for up to 5 days

9. Plastic bags or Crisp packets can be used as condom substitutes.

Erm.. no.

10. Emergency Contraception causes an abortion

False. Emergency contraception is only capable of preventing pregnancy not terminating an existing pregnancy. It works in a completely different way to the medication used in medical abortions.

We hope we have cleared some things up for you and would love to hear from you if you have questions or any myths that you've heard that you would like to myth bust!!

But for now we say adieu!

Until next time our lovelies...

Your friends at SHAKE Africa


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