Whether you’re married or single, an unplanned pregnancy can cause fear, frustration, and even anger. It strains relationships and finances while changing the course of a woman’s life.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says the majority of unintended pregnancies result from not using contraception or from not using it consistently or correctly. Intended or not, all pregnant women need to get the most accurate medical information in order to make an informed decision.
Myths and facts
There are a lot of myths about how an unplanned pregnancy happens. As always, the myths don’t line up with the facts. Here are some unplanned pregnancy myths we’d like to correct.
Myth #1: Only irresponsible teenagers have unplanned pregnancies
Unintended pregnancies represent about 45% of all pregnancies. They’re highest among women who are aged 18 to 24 years old.
Although rates are higher in younger age groups, if you’re a woman of any reproductive age, you can experience an unplanned pregnancy too.
Myth #2: You are always in control of when you get pregnant
If a woman could control when she gets pregnant then contraception should work 100% of the time. Circumstances like irregular periods, medications, stress, extreme physical activity, and drug use can change a woman’s menstrual cycle. This would also change her date of ovulation.
No, a woman cannot always control when she’ll get pregnant.
Myth #3: I can’t get pregnant when I’m on my period
This is a myth that has been around for a long time. The truth is you can get pregnant even during your monthly period. The probability is lower than at other times, but if your periods are shorter or irregular, it’s possible to ovulate during your period.
In addition, sperm can live up to 5 days in your body. If you have unprotected sex during your period, it’s still possible to get pregnant if you ovulate shortly afterward.
Myth #4: Teen pregnancy and birth rates are increasing
The truth is, teen pregnancies are at an all-time low in the U.S. The rates of teen pregnancies and births have fallen over 50% in the last decade. Research suggests the reasons teen pregnancies are falling is because teens today are having less sex and use more effective contraception.
Myth #5: I can use the morning-after pill for regular contraception
According to the Mayo Clinic, the morning-after pill is considered a form of emergency birth control. It isn’t intended to be a regular form of contraception. If you’ve had unprotected sex, it may prevent pregnancy depending on when you ovulate.
The side effects of the morning-after pill include nausea, dizziness, fatigue, headache, cramps, and possible bleeding between periods. Although the makers of the morning-after pill claim it doesn’t cause an abortion, the National Institutes of Health, stated it can cause abortion and perhaps does more often than not.
To learn more, contact us
If you would like to learn more about your reproductive health and pregnancy, contact Pregnancy Resource Center of Grand Rapids. We’re a safe place to have those difficult conversations.