“To be great is to be misunderstood”

 So wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet. He wasn’t talking about the Pill, (it was the 19 th century) but he should have been!

 Contraception IS great, but it is very often misunderstood…

We all have an opinion on it, but do we have all the facts?

 At Students’ Health Service we hear all sorts of myths and misconceptions ( sorry, no pun intended!) about various forms of contraception, and Valentine’s Day would seem as good a moment as any to challenge some of the  more common ones ( and one or two bizarre ones). 

 So here goes; in defence of the good old combined oral contraceptive pill; it does NOT make you “mad and fat”. Any hormonal medication could affect your emotions, but alternatives pills can be tried, and there is NO proven causal link between the pill and weight gain.

Your body does not need a ‘break’ from the pill, it is safe and convenient to take 9 weeks straight through.And as long as you always restart your pill after the 7 day break then that pill free week is equally protected.

 So now to the Emergency contraceptive pill (‘morning after pill’); it can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, and in most cases up to 5 days (an emergency coil fit is an alternative for up to 5 days too) . It does NOT affect your long term fertility at all, even if you take it twice in one cycle.

 You can get pregnant if you have sex during your period, or use the withdrawal method, and even if you have sex standing up against a wall ( I have heard all of these methods mentioned as protective against conception!).

 And finally to the most reliable method of contraception known to woman (except for your chap wearing socks,and nothing else,to bed…) The coil!

 We fit loads of these, you don’t have to have had a baby to have one, nor can they cause burst ovaries, and nor do they adversely affect long term fertility (after removal) so if you are interested, then come and see one of our coil fitting doctors.

 We give out free condoms to anyone who asks during a consultation with a doctor or nurse, and are happy to discuss all the above methods and more if you’re interested in avoiding an unplanned pregnancy during your academic studies! If you do get pregnant by accident we are here to discuss that too. Remember, all contraception is free!

 Men and women are welcome to come and discuss contraception with our clinical team, who are entirely non judgmental.

 We want to help you make the right choice for you, so come and see us soon, don’t leave it too late!


fpa  The Family Planning Association has more info available