The birth control pill has remained steady in its popularity amongst contraceptive options. It’s easy to get, low-cost, is around 92% effective with typical use, and delivers a predictable monthly cycle. It’s been around for quite some time and has many a fan– so why are there so many bad rumors about them? Here are some common myths and the truths behind them:

  1. It’s unhealthy to skip periods while on the pill

Luckily this is completely false! The pill-free week (when the withdrawal bleed, or “period” occurs) is really only there to prevent break-through bleeding. It is not harmful for your body to not have a period as long as it is being hormonally controlled through birth control. If you don’t like having a regular period (who does…?) we recommend skipping the pill-free week for two months and then taking your full pack, sugar pills included, on the third month. This will typically prevent any break-through bleeding and give you three period-free months. Hurray!

  1. Being on the pill for a long time can impact fertility

The second you stop taking birth control pills, the second your fertility returns. Studies have shown that the only form of birth control that can affect the return to fertility is the depo-provera shot. The pills do not affect return to fertility; you are able to get pregnant the moment you stop.

  1. All pills are the same, and my side effects with one pill will be my side effects for all

Not the case—if you have side effects with one pill, let your provider know (we encourage you to give each pill the good ole college try– which in our world is at least 3 months). There are so many pills on the market that there is sure to be one that will fit. It might take some time to figure out which pill that is, so be patient! Keep in mind that all bodies are different. What worked for your friend may not work for you and vice versa.

  1. I should give my body a break from birth control

There is no real reason to do this unless you’re wanting to get pregnant. The hormones in birth control pills are very low dose and occur naturally in the body as is—studies have shown no harmful effects or effects on fertility for those who have continued to take them for long periods of time.

  1. Antibiotics make birth control pills ineffective

Only the antibiotic Rifampin has been shown to impact effectiveness of the pill. If you are taking Rifampin, make sure and use a back-up method. If not, there is no need to worry unless your provider states otherwise.

  1. Birth control pills are only good for contraception

Birth control pills can actually lower the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer, which is a huge perk. Additionally, birth control pills can help lighten and shorten periods, decrease menstrual cramps, control acne, decrease the risk of anemia, and aid in common ailments such as PMDD, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibroids, and menstrual migraines.

If the pill is your contraceptive method of choice, remember that taking the pill daily is important. One of my favorite websites,, has an awesome reminder section just for this reason (here). There are lots of apps available that work similarly, or you can set a daily alarm on your phone to help remember. If you find yourself continuing to forget to take the pill, it might be worth looking into a different contraceptive option.