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Debunking The Myths About Birth Control Pills

Nearly 17 million women in the US rely on birth control pills for reliable contraception and other medical benefits.  How many others would benefit from the Pill if it weren't for the misleading myths currently in circulation?

  • The most prevalent myth:  "Taking the Pill makes you fat."  Not!  Ironically, most women who told me this were teenagers who stopped taking the Pill because they heard that they would get fat-- then they got pregnant.  Pregnancy makes you gain weight.  Eating too much and exercising too little makes you fat.  Most low-dose birth control pills have little effect on weight gain, water retention, or appetite.
  • Another myth:  "If I take the Pill, my face will break out."  Not true.  Studies have even found that the Pill can decrease the severity of preexisting acne.
  • The myth that bothers me the most is that the Pill may increase breast cancer risk.  This is not true.  An analysis of 54 studies in 25 countries found no increased risk of breast cancer 10 or more years after women stopped taking the Pill, compared with women who never took it.  This is true even for women with a family history of breast cancer.

Join us tomorrow when we debunk more myths about birth control pills.

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Created: 5/24/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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