As a teenager you may hear a lot of conflicting information on birth control and pregnancy. That's if you're lucky - a lot of teens don't have resources to help them learn what's true and what's false about pregnancy and birth control. Here's a short list that will help you make the right decisions.
MYTH: You can't get pregnant the first time you have sex.
You can. It doesn't matter if it's the first time or the hundredth time you've had sex, you can still get pregnant.
MYTH: Women can't get pregnant during their period.
They can. There's no safe time of the month when you can't get pregnant.
MYTH: There's no method of birth control that's 100% effective.
Abstinence is a form of birth control. If you aren't having sex, you can't get pregnant or get someone else pregnant. It's just that simple. If you are going to have sex, use a condom.
MYTH: Wearing two condoms at once gives you double the protection.
Adding more layers won't help and can even make sex more risky. Using two condoms can cause friction between the two condoms and increase the likelihood of them breaking.
MYTH: Condoms can be reused.
Once a condom has been removed from its wrapper, you have to use it or lose it. And once a condom has been used during sex, it is no longer good - throw it away!
MYTH: Girls can use a friend or sister's birth control pills.
Wrong. Prescriptions are for specific people. You can't use someone else's birth control for a number of reasons, namely, because it isn't prescribed to you.
MYTH: A girl only takes birth control pills (the Pill) when she's going to have sex. It doesn't matter that much if you haven't taken them regularly - as long as you take them right before you have sex.
Birth control pills are made up of a series of the hormones estrogen and progesterone and must build up in the system to be effective. That's why you must take the pills in the prescribed sequence at about the same time every day. Skipping a day will alter the efficacy of the contraception.
MYTH: The Pill is completely effective the first day you begin taking it.
Unfortunately, it can take up to one full month (or one full menstrual cycle) for the Pill to become completely effective. Doctors most often recommend using a second form of contraception (like condoms) during the first few weeks that you're on the Pill.
©2010, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy