Ghostbust Contraceptive Myths

When a sentence begins with 'I read on the internet', the gyno takes a deep breath, and if the next clause contains a mention of one of the excellent sources of data we exhale and and smile. If the source is a chat room, or a site selling untested therapies, you can hear a few more deep breaths before we launch into a discussion of data. Of course, it's very important to get information about the consequences of any prescription therapy, and being prescribed contraceptive therapy is no exception. However, there are consequences of no therapy (in the case of contraception it's unplanned pregnancy) as well, and thus sprouts the prescriptive principal of 'risk vs benefit.' Your job is to help your provider sort out your personal risks and your personal perception of benefit. But it's important to not be weighing in factors that are truly myths.The June 2016 of AJOG has pointed out that contraceptive effectiveness is as much about chasing the ghosts of contraceptive myths as it is about all the other factors: access, effectiveness, safety, and lifestyle.One prevalent myth is that contraceptive pills cause cancer, but in fact they are excellent protection from ovarian, tubal, and uterine cancer as well as protection against colon cancer, and many women would want this protection if they were aware of the actual facts. If inaccurate beliefs and so called 'contraceptive myths' are perpetuated these beliefs can compromise the realistic evaluation of the pros and cons of a method, and this article by Drs Clarks and Peipert does an excellent job of providing the facts to health care providers so that they can help their patients sort the facts from fiction.This is what we gynos call our ghostbusting.


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