SINGAPORE - A recent survey conducted by Bayer HealthCare this year uncovered a worrying trend among Singaporeans - two out of five respondents were still too embarrassed to consult others about their birth control needs, leading to misinformation.
The survey of 203 Singaporeans aged between 18 to 35 years of age also found that an overwhelming one in three Singaporeans are unable to obtain reliable and accurate information about contraception.
This will undeniably lead to many misconceptions to contend with.
Whether it's about the different options available or the correct usage of them, the right information will help you and your partner make informed decisions on family planning and sexual health.
Beyond that, some birth control methods provide benefits beyond contraception, so it's best to know your options for the best method that would suit your lifestyle.
Some of the most common myths relating to contraception are:
Myth #1: Condoms are the most effective way of preventing pregnancy
BUSTED! Condoms are a popular form of contraception but are definitely not the most effective.
When used properly, condoms can be 98 per cent effective. However, in real life conditions, the effectiveness could be reduced to 85 per cent.
This can be due to breakage or leakage, or sometimes because they are simply used incorrectly.
Some of the more common mistakes include taking the condom off before intercourse is over, and failing to leave space at the tip of the condom for semen.
That being said, condoms are the only method that will protect against STIs (sexually transmitted infections).
Myth #2: The Pill causes weight gain
BUSTED! A popular misconception is that oral contraceptives - also known as "the Pill" - will cause weight gain.
In fact, long term studies looking at the weight impact of the Pill have not shown women gaining significant weight. Some women may put on one to two kg as a result of water retention caused by the hormone estrogen.
However, this does not normally persist beyond the first few months after starting the Pill.
There are also newer Pill formulations that manage weight issues by reducing hormonal-related water retention.
Myth #3: The Pill increases the risk of cancer
POSSIBLE: There are some studies to suggest that being on the Pill increases the risk of breast cancer, but other studies have shown no significant increase.
In instances where an increased risk was identified, it reduced over time following the discontinuation of the Pill.